Church of Mary Ephesus.jpg
church OF mary/double church

The Church of Mary is one of the most significant of the important monuments at Ephesus & is also a pilgrimage center for christians.  This church had been subjected to the Third Ecumenical Council, convened by Emperor Theodosius II at Ephesus in 431 A.D.  The Council was held to resolve a theological debate between two schools of thought about the nature of Christ and of His mother, Mary. 

Church of mary / double church ephesus.j

One of the schools, led by Nestorius, the Bishop of Constantinople, advocated that Christ was born human and became God, and that His mother should be called merely “Christ-bearer”. The more popular view, however, was that Jesus was the Son of God, was born as a God, so, Mary had to be called the Mother of God. This view was led by  Cyrill, Bishop of Alexandria. Approximately 250 bishops journeyed to Ephesus from all over and took part in arguements about nature of Jesus at birth.  In the end, the Council concluded that Jesus was God, born as a God and Mary is “Mother of God.”  Nestorius was denounced and excommunicated from the Church for his heresy.  A torch-light parade exited the church proclaiming Mary as the mother of god.

At those times, the church was looking like the 3D model below.

3D model of The Churh of Mary.jpg

A less important another Council was held in Church of mary in 449 A.D.  However, because of the controversial implementations, this second council was not accepted as an  ecumenicalcouncil and was called as a “Robber Synod” and later ignored at the Council of Chalcedon in Konstantinople.  Since the 5th Century, the Church of Mary served as the region of the Bishop of Ephesus. Baptismal ceremonies were held in the polygonal Baptistery where thousands of Pagans were converted into christianity. 


The Church of St. Mary, was discovered early in the 20th century and is believed to be the very first church in the world dedicated for Mary. A passage in the synodal letter of the first Council of Ephesus is as  follows: 
“Wherefore also Nestorius, the renewer of the impious heresy, when he had come to the city of the Ephesians, where John the Theologian and the Virgin Mother of God, the Holy Mary . . . from the assembly of the Holy Fathers and Bishops.” 
It is believed by the letters that both St. John the Apostle and the Blessed Virgin Mary both lived and died at Ephesus.


The church which was built during the reign of Constantine The Great, was a classical type basilica in rectangular shape. An atrium entrance was built with large marble blocks which were brought from other buildings of the city. On the northern side of the atrium there was a niched baptistery of octagonal shape with a baptism chamber made of marble and a pool was built in the middle of the floor for baptism of adults. One of the best-preserved baptism pools of Asia Minor pool is still visible on te northern part. The Baptism pool wasbeing used generally to convert the pagans into Christianity.


Below is a historical fresco about the 3rd Ecumenic council in Ephesus

3rd ecumenic council in Ephesus.jpg

The Third Ecumenical Council Of Ephesus. Sketch for a fresco in the upper part of the southern wall of the choir of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.(BELOW)

Aerial photo of St. Mary Church

Click on the links below for other pages of Ephesus

Ephesus main page

Ephesus/Terrace Houses,      Ephesus/Celcus Library     Ephesus/Temple of Hadrianus    Ephesus/Temple of Artemis      Ephesus / The Church of St. Mary       

Ephesus/Other Historical Attractions

Ephesus / Fountain of Trajan, ca-pub-6523546477277012, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0