Seven Sleepers Cave-The Real Story

sleepers cave

On the Time Travel Legends page I was talking about the seven sleepers cave but here I will tell you the entire story 🙂

 Who are the seven sleepers?seven sleepers cave


The seven sleepers are a group of young people who hid in a cave near the city of Ephesus about 250 AC to escape death.

It is a version of the story where Decius imprisoned the boys into a cave to die there, punishing them for their religion, for being Christians. The young men fell asleep inside the cave and awoke after 180 years. At that time, The King was Theodosius the Second and the city was now Christian.

The seven men walked into the city, surprised by the big number of beautiful churches and amazed at the freedom of Christianity.

The earliest version of this miracle comes from Jacob of Sarug (450-521) who had the information from a Greek source lost a long time ago. The miracle was accepted by the people having to do with the resurrection of the body.

This story appears and in Gregory of Tours, in the History of the Lombards by Paul the Deacon and in Golden Legends by Jacobus De Voragine.

Paul tells us that the sleepers are Romans from the clothes they wear. In his book Paul the Deacon it says:

In the farthest boundaries of Germany toward the west-north-west, on the shore of the ocean itself, a cave is seen under a projecting where for an unknown time seven men repose wrapped in a long sleep.

The Seven Sleepers legend appears also in the Koran and in its version the young boys have with them a dog.

 What after?


The sleepers died later from natural causes and were buried in this cave.

Later on, a lot of people were buried there and a small church was built above their tombs. The church has marble revetments and mosaic floors.

Near the cave was built also a large mausoleum in the 6th century.

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In 1927 and 1930 archaeologists discovered inside the cave many lamps dating from the 5th century and some of them were not Christian so they proved that the cave existed since then and it is possible the story to be true, not only a legend.

From my opinion, all the legends have a root of truth. From somewhere it has to start … something should happen to create the story.

 And what is now?


Now, the cave from Ephesus is a tourist attraction and even though it is fenced off, a big hole in the fence allows access to the cave.

What you can see there is the cave church where the seven sleepers were buried, but the tombs are now open empty holes.

The terracotta lamps are some of the very interesting things discovered in the cave. Some of them are Christian, decorated with a cross or with pictures from the Old Testament as Adam and Eva, Abraham and Isaac.

Also, we can see many of them with pagan religious images such as Zeus and Aphrodite, Hercules and the lion, even the head of god Attis.

This evidence proves that the paganism, in the 5th century was still believed.

Where is the cave?sleepers cave


The Seven Sleepers cave is said to be located in Turkey in Ephesus, on the eastern part of Panyirdag Hill and is a sacred and venerated place from the 5th century.

 This is just a version of the story because the exact location is still not defined.

Some other theories


Another suggested location of the cave is near Amman, Jordan. Strongly believing in the Koran’s description, Muslims says that the cave is located in Turan.

Mirza Basheer-  ud Din Mahmud Ahmad considered that the story was based on the legend of  Joseph of Arimathea. Metaphorically talking, the cave is in England, and he believed that the Catacombs of Rome could be the source of the legend.

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In Tunisia, we can hear another version of the story. The mosque of Chenini is called the Mosque of the Seven Sleepers and it is supposed that they were buried in this place.

Some very big tombs, about 4 meters are the sleepers’ tombs, because in the Tunisian version during the sleep they grow up and became giants.

Another place in Tunisia where the cave could be located is Tozeur, Mides according to Abu Salim Al Ayyashi, a traveler.

Also in Algeria in Azeffun the sleepers are seven shepherds who fell into the cave trying to hide from the persecution of Decius and they slept for 40 years. When they awoke they tried to pay with old coins in the city and like this, they realized that the world changed.

Even the duration of the sleep is not certain but one thing we know… something happened there.

For the story to be alive in both Islam and Christian religion, and in so many places of the world, people believe that the sleepers were there, in my opinion, something is true from this story.

I think that a tale is not possible to rise from nothing real and to be so… known worldwide.

So I would really like to know what you think, what is your version of the legend? 🙂

Any comments are welcome and I will answer any questions you have.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this information

For further reading, and viewing click below


Cristina Boros
I have always been interested in time travel. From a very young age I was forever watching movies that would take me back in time.

I would love to hear from all of you who are also interested in this subject. Movies? Science? Book? Literature?

Whatever your interest is, I would love to meet you.


  1. frankj2016

    What an interesting story. I believe you are correct in surmising that these legends and stories are based upon some sort of truth. I have also read stories about people around the world, throughout history going to sleep and waking up from what they thought was a short slumber only to find that many days, months or even years have passed! I always wished someone would get to the bottom of these legends and provide concrete proof that something like this actually occurred beyond the shadow of a doubt! Until then it all remains a mystery to those who are interested in this phenomenon like me. The video was cool too. Thanks.

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      i am glad that you enjoyed it and i you know in Greece is a saying… there is no smog without fire… means.. to start a rumour must something be true:))

  2. Odysseas

    Thank you for this wonderful story 🙂 keep them coming 🙂

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      you are welcome:)) as the site develop you will find here more stories…or maybe real facts:))thanks for reading

  3. Eric

    That was pretty neat to read about. I love science and I love to hear and read about things that could be real especially when it comes to the unknown things that can’t be explained. Like time travel.
    This was cool to learn about and I can’t wait to check out the rest of your site.

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      thanks for reading and I hope you will enjoy an the other posts. If you are interested in time travel, you will really like it 🙂

      I live science fiction but i am more fascinated about the science behind the time travel:) stay around and you will learn more:-)

  4. Bob

    I found the stories to be interesting and intriguing all at the same time! Usually when there’s several versions of a particular story or legends,there’s a certain amount of fact mixed in with those stories. After all,how can we really know exactly when and where with true precision! You keep writing,and I’ll keep reading!….Bob

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      yes, you are right, are a few versions of the story but don’t you think that here must be something true? in Greece we have a say…There is no smog without fire:))) so….
      you are totally right that we don’t know exactly where and when and who but we know that the story had a true part…do you agree?
      thanks for reading:)))

  5. Brittaney Verkuyl

    I love to find stories like this one. That transcends just one religion and story set. Every lie, tale, or story is based in truth somewhere. Even if it is just our own personal experience.

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      Hello Brittaney,
      I think you are right…You know we have a say in Greece. there is not smoke without a fire . So the source of those stories,( in so many parts of the world and from so different period of time ),can be a real fact, real events.Thanks fro visiting my site and stay close for more updates.

  6. Chris Towers

    Yet another great and interesting information Cristina. I find your site very enjoyable to read.

    I see time travel can be a very complex subject to cover, and most of the time we associate with the movies.

    This information here really opens your eyes that time travel just may be a reality.

    Thanks for this, I really liked it.


    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      Thanks Chris for visiting my site and I am glad that you did enjoy it.I know most of people associate time travel with science fiction but are so many other things related… Ancient, old legends show you that maybe the source of those stories is something real, are real facts.
      Time travel maybe is not just fiction.
      Thanks again and have a great day.

  7. ariel

    Hello Cristina, I haven’t a clue what is the story. And yet it is so very intriguing. To know truly what was happening at that time, makes me not sure. I would believe it might be more Muslim then Christian story. But either way. It is intriguing.
    Great article,
    in peace and gratitude, ariel

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      Thanks, Ariel:)
      My story emphasize the time travel journey, not the religion, the place exists and it is a legend around it. My main subject is the time travel and this legend reveal that maybe in the past happened, maybe people could time travel. There are many proves, ancient legends, archeological discoveries that prove that time travel was known.
      Thanks for reading, have a great day.

  8. Cynthia

    Very interesting Cristina. I really have never heard this story. I have been a Christian since a child. I looked it up and it looks like it is a legend I never heard of. Thanks for writing about it.
    Wouldn’t it be great if we could time travel?

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      Hello Cynthia,
      You are right would be great if we could time travel and I am confident that soon we will be able to. It is a nice legend with a root of truth. I am glad that you enjoyed it. me too I am a Christian and when I heard this legend and I read about this place I was amazed.Thanks for visiting my site and I am glad that you enjoyed reading.
      Have a good day, Cynthia


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