Ancient temples in Turkey





Temple for: Artemis
erected: Temple E, start of construction 334 - 300 B.C.
Dimensions: Stylobat: 55,10 x 115,14 m
  Peristasis: (2x) 9 (3x9) x (2x) 21
Ground plan
Roman province: Ionia / Asia
Location: Selçuk, Selçuk county, Province İzmir

The temple of Artemis in Ephesus, or briefly the Artemision of Ephesus, was dedicated to the Olympic deity Artemis in its special form as Artemis Ephesia. It is said to have been founded by the Amazon queen Otrere and as the largest temple building belonged to the "Seven Wonders of the World" of antiquity. The ancient city of Ephesus was famous for its wealth and later, as the capital of the Roman province of Asia, one of the largest cities of antiquity.

The area has been used continuously since the Bronze Age. The first temples (A + B) were built in the 8th century BC as wooden constructions. Temple "C" was allegedly built in the 7th century BC under the hardly known tyrant Pythagoras, who was destroyed by flooding before completion.

The successor temple "D" was begun around 550 BC. The construction work on this temple lasted unusually long for ancient conditions with 120 years. The temple, built of a white-blue marble of the area, rose on a 111.7 m × 57.3 m large, only two-stage substructure.
It fell victim to an arson attack by Herostratos on 21 July 356 BC. Herostratos committed the act out of a desire for recognition - he succeeded in his plan to become famous and thus immortal by burning down the wonder of the world.
According to legend, Alexander the Great was born on the night of the fire, who later also provided great financial aid for the reconstruction of the temple, so that Artemis, who supervised its birth in Pella, could not protect her own sanctuary.

The late classical new building (temple E), which was started soon after, was to be faithfully restored to the old temple, but there were some changes.
Also with this temple the construction time lasted relatively long with approximately one hundred years. Nevertheless, all parts of this temple came to stand where the predecessor already owned them. The construction work was apparently stopped after 250 B.C., although some structural elements were left unfinished.

The temple again came into view in world history when around 46 BC Arsinoë IV, the younger sister Cleopatra VII, went into exile in the temple. However, as a blood relative she posed a potential threat to her sister's claim to power, and on Marcus Antonius' initiative and order she was executed as early as 41 B.C. on the steps of the temple itself.

During the reign of the Roman emperor Gallienus, the magnificent building was destroyed by the Goths in 268 A.D. during a war campaign, and the remains were used by the inhabitants as building material.
However, the Ephesians did not abandon the Artemis cult until the 4th century. Today, a single column erected again testifies to the former wonder of the world.


In Greek mythology, Artemis is the goddess of hunting, the forest, the moon and the guardian of women and children. She is one of the twelve great Olympic gods and therefore one of the most important deities of Greek mythology. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She corresponds to Diana in Roman mythology.

The history of Ephesus:

Photos: @chim, Monika P.    
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Source: Wikipedia and others