The Cave of Seven Sleepers
According to the written accounts, this is the place where seven young men came to after running away from the city because of the persecution of Christians during the reign of Emperor Decius. They distributed all their goods to the poor and found a cave to pray. Emperor Decius convinced that they would never favor paganism, had the cave sealed. And after falling asleep, they woke up 300 years later during the reign of Emperor Theodosius II. When this seven-man woke up after the passage of 300 years Christianity had become the official religion of Rome. The landowner, to use it as a yard for his animals, opened the mouth of the cave and found the Seven Sleepers inside.
They thought that they fall asleep only the day before and felt hungry, and thirsty. One of them went out to buy some food trying not to be recognized by the soldiers of Decius. When he arrived in the city and saw the crosses on the buildings, he was perplexed. The people downtown were astounded to see a man with the old coins from the reign of Emperor Decius. The bishop invite the Seven Sleepers to tell their miraculous story, after which they died, praising God.
Table of Contents
The same story is mentioned about the Seven Sleepers in the Qur’an, the holy book of Moslems, with some differences. This seven-man had a dog in the cave and it was watching them out at the very entrance while they were sleeping according to the Islamic version mentions. These young men are referred to as “The People of the Cave”.
The Grotto of the Seven Sleepers is located on Mount Pion nearby the Stadium of Ephesus ancient city in Selcuk. There was a small two-story graveyard structure and ten crypt chambers under the ground, where the seven men were thought to have been buried and a church was constructed over this place. After excavations at the site, some hundred graves were found dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries. Researchers found some inscriptions on the walls of the church related to the Seven Sleepers, As a tourist attraction, the Cave of Seven Sleepers is very popular today.