Ashab al-Kahf Cave in Selçuk (Grotto of Seven Sleepers)

Also knows as Grotto of Seven Sleepers, this cave is one of the four caves in Turkey that claims to be the original cave of Ashab al-Kahf, others being Mersin, Diyarbakir & Kahramanmaraş

Selçuk, Turkey

Coordinates: 37.943584, 27.355214

The Ashab al-Kahf Cave or the grotto of Seven Sleepers in Ephesus, Turkey is a Byzantine necropolis where dozens of rock-cut tombs can be seen.

The grotto is one of the several places related to the legend of a group of youths who hid inside a cave and years after woke up to find the world changed.

This legend has two versions, Islamic and Christian. The place known as the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers is now a ruined church carved into the rock.

The cave was once lined with bricks that created the impression of a building.

The place known as the Grotto of the Seven Sleepers is now a ruined church carved into the rock.

The inscriptions dedicated to the Seven Sleepers were found on the walls.

The hollow floor openings are now empty, but they were once the burial place.

The most valuable find for archaeologists was the treasure, which consisted of a collection of terracotta lamps, dated to the 4th and the 5th century AD.

Most of them were decorated with the sign of the cross, and some show the scenes from the Old Testament, including Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, and Daniel in the lion’s den.

In total, in the cave, and its surroundings several hundred graves from the 5th and the 6th centuries AD have been discovered.

Know this

Outside there was a tree with prayers carefully tied on.

It’s only 5 minutes from Ephesus so worth popping by while you’re there.

There are local shops in the entrance where you can find souveniers.

Also you can rent a carriage for to feel how it is. But if you insist on seeing the place,make a plan about 20-30 minutes.

If you are hungry you can eat local pitsa called “gözleme” which I reccomend.

In summer time for both Virgin Mary and Seven Sleepers , while travelling take your hat and sun lotion and water. It is not convenient for the disabled.