House of Virgin Mary
Church of St. Mary, where the Third Ecumenical Council declared that Mary would henceforth be known as the Mother of God. The crumbling monumental walls you see behind it are the Roman harbor baths, once popular with sailors docking at the (now silted-up) Port of Ephesus. The ruined baths are worth a
ramble through the field if you are wearing sturdy pants and footwear. Head back to the main road via the Theater Gymnasium. On your left as you re-enter the main road, you can’t miss the spectacular theater, backed by the western slope of Mt. Pion, which once seated an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 spectators.
Legend has long attested that St John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus and, in 1881, a French priest claimed this was her house. Atop these ruined, mostly 6th-century AD
house foundations, a chapel has been built; everything beneath the pale red line on its exterior is from the original foundation. The site is 7km from Ephesus’ Upper Gate
(8.5km from the Lower Gate).
The Church of Mary (also referred to as the Double Church or Council Church) is the place historically associated with the Council of Ephesus held in 431 C.E., at which Mary’s role as Mother of God was debated and affirmed; every October since 1986, a commemorative mass has been held in the partially restored ruins of the church.
The so-called House of Mary (Meryem Ana Evi), a few kilometers south of the ancient city center, has even greater emotive appeal as the place where, according to certain ecclesiastical traditions, Mary spent her final days.