The Cave of Seven Sleepers

The Cave of Seven Sleepers
This early Christian catacomb is associated with the legend of Seven Sleepers. There were several hundred tombs found here from the 5th and 6th century during the excavations between 1927 and 1930.

The caves of the 7 sleepers is the place where seven Christian young men hid themselves with their dog when they were fleeing the wrath and punishment of the idolaters. Later, they were found and murdered during the reign of Decius, the Roman emperor, in the middle of the 3rd century. It is said that they were resurrected after 200 years during the reign of Emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century. After that resurrection, many of those who believed in Christ wished to be buried in this place and they were, so that a large graveyard was formed with about a thousand graves, tombs and monasteries.

Up to the 6th century it was enlarged continually and became a place of pilgrimage. This continued up to the 12th century. After that century it fell into ruins. The graves are on the slope of Panayir mountain facing Selcuk. The legend told above does not only exist in Christianity, but is also known as "Eshab Ul-Kehf" in the Muslim world.

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