The Cave of the Seven Sleepers
The Cave of the Seven Sleepers - (Show on the Map) - The Christians in the early empire, were in a dispute with the Roman state over the subject of the imperial cult, according to which, those Christians who refused to sacrifice animals at an imperial temple. After a while these seven young men fell asleep and when they woke up they went to city to buy food. To their amazement, they found out that they had slept not for one night but for two hundred years, and that Christianity had spread to every corner of the Roman Empire. When Emperor Theodosius II heard the incident, he accepted it as evidence of resurrection which was being discussed in the churches then.
When these young men died, following an impressive funeral, they were buried in the cave on which a church was built later. The excavations carried on here during 1927-28 brought to light a church and several hundred graves which were dated to the 5th and 6th centuries. Inscriptions dedicated to the Seven Sleepers were found on the walls of the church and in the graves.
For hundreds of years, people wanted to be buried as close as possible to the Seven Sleepers who were considered holy. According to a Christian belief, St.Mary Magdalene is buried here, also.