Recent research effort in Content-Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) focuses on bridging the gap between low-level features and high-level semantic contents of images as this gap has become the bottleneck of CBIR. In this paper, an effective image database retrieval framework using a new mechanism called the Markov Model Mediator (MMM) is presented to meet this demand by taking into consideration not only the low-level image features, but also the high-level concepts learned from the history of user's access pattern and access frequencies on the images in the database. Also, the proposed framework is efficient in two aspects: 1) Overhead for real-time training is avoided in the image retrieval process because the high-level concepts of images are captured in the off-line training process. 2) Before the exact similarity matching process, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) is applied to reduce the image search space. A training subsystem for this framework is implemented and integrated into our system. The experimental results demonstrate that the MMM mechanism can effectively assist in retrieving more accurate results from image databases.