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The Legend of the Seven Sleepers
According to the legend told in different versions in different sources, seven Christian young boys who lived under the reign of Emperor Decius around 250 AD (Boys were named Malta, Malchus, Martinianus, Dionysius, Yohannes, Serapion and Konstantinus) refused to offer a sacrifice to the temple where the emperor was deified. They received death threats, and they decided to take refuge in a cave nearby Ephesus. King ordered building a wall on the entrance of the cave.
Seven boys fell asleep after a while. Boys woke up and, unaware of how long they slept, went to the city to buy food. When Yemliha, who wanted to buy bread from a bakery, gave the old money, he learned that they were in the time of Theodosius (408-450) and that they slept with his friends for 200 years. Christianity had already spread throughout the Roman Empire. When Yemliha returned to the cave and explained the situation, all seven boys decided to go to sleep again and never wake up.
Cave of Seven Sleepers Today
A church and many tombs were found during the excavations in the past years. When inscriptions written to appeal to the Seven Sleepers, who are considered sacred, were seen in the tombs and on the walls of the church, it was accepted that this place was the legendary cave.
Tour Guide to the Cave of Seven Sleepers nearby Ephesus
The Story of Seven Sleepers is attracting people even today. There is no entrance fee to the Cave of Seven Sleepers. There is a ramp before you access to the cave, so I recommend good shoes if you want to visit this attraction. Contact me to learn more about the Cave of Seven Sleepers and to hire a tour guide to the Cave of Seven Sleepers nearby Ephesus. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.