The Temple of Artemis located in the ancient city Ephesus, Turkey is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Hanging Garden at the Babylon or the statue of Zues, are some of the common must-see spectacles in Turkey. But if you haven’t visited this Temple then you’ve missed one of the grandest of all marvels that the ancient world has to offer!
History Behind The Temple of Artemis
The Temple of Artemis, also known as The Temple of Diana, was built in 800 BC to honour Artemis, one of the three maiden Goddesses of Olympus. This temple was built in Ephesus, present day Selcuk, located near Kusadasi. Unfortunately it had to be built and re-built almost three times as it was being destroyed by fire, floods and a mob! Each time the temple was built bigger than the last time, making it more beautiful and architecturally impressive!
The Temple of Artemis once housed many fine artworks and sculptures by the renowned Greek sculptors. Located in one of the most economically robust regions, this temple saw many travelers from all over Asia. This temple was known to be an infusion of various cultures, faith and belief.
Visiting the Temple of Artemis – Walking with the Gods
Frankly speaking, what stands today are just modest ruins of the temple and is nothing in comparison to the grandeur it used to be. There are just a few columns and humble ruins which screams attention of the Govt. The entry to the temple is free and it offers promising views of the Artemision area and its surroundings, right across St. Johns of Basilica.
Also visit the Ephesus Museum in Selcuk to see some of the remains that the temple used to hold including the statue of Artemis among other exhibits.
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Other Attractions In & Around Kusadasi
1. Isa Bey Mosque
Most delicate example of the Seljukian Architecture, this mosque was built by the master Syrian architecture Ali, the son of Mushimish al-Damishki between the years of 1374 and 1375. This mosque is situated below the basilica of St. John.
The mosque was is architecturally anything but traditional, with unmatched doors, windows and dooms which was done on purpose. The Isa Bey Mosque was founded on the western slope of Ayasuluk hill and it a harem, two naves and a huge courtyard.
What stands today is a broken minaret on the southern side of the Mosque with the stork nest. Apart from this there are twelve columns brought from the Temple of Artemis for construction and later a small pool was added to this mosque.
2. The Ancient City of Ephesus
The ancient city of Ephesus is one of the top tourist attractions in Turkey and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site as one of the important sites of the ancient era. Among all the ancient wonders in Kusadasi, the city of Ephesus is most well-preserved. This city had an outstanding universal value and dates back to almost 6000 BC.
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The city consisted of the impressive Library of Celsus, a grand theater with a capacity of 24,000, statues, the Temple of Hadrian and Artemis, the Parliament buildings, the Terrace House of Roman Nobles, commercial buildings, baths and many more that was vital to ancient civilization.
3. House of Virgin Mary
It was believed that Mother Mary spent her last days in the ancient city of Ephesus and breathed her last within the vicinity of this city. This belief was highlighted by a nun named Anna Katherina Emmerich who lived during the late 18th century. Her detailed description of Virgin Mary’s coming to this ancient city, her life and her life home made it easier to find the house which weirdly resembled characteristics of Ephesus which the Nun has never visited.
The House of Virgin Mary is a typical example of Roman architecture, entirely made of stones. The original house was two-stored which consisted of an anteroom, bedroom, a praying room (Christian praying area) and a room with fireplace (chapel for Muslims). what stands today is the central part of the house and an alter that is open to visitors. The house resembles more of a church than a residence but the most interesting part is ‘Water of Mary‘, a saline water source found at the exit of the house which is believed to have curative properties!
holidayme is offering a one day tour to the ancient city of Ephesus which covers all the above attractions. Click here to find out more.