ARTEMIS TEMPLE IN TURKEY

The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is located approximately 1 km from Selçuk downtown, on the way to Kusadasi. It is situated on the right side of the bottom gate of Ephesus, near the museum in ruins in Selçuk town.

WHO WAS ARTEMIS?

Artemis was one of the Olympian gods in Greek mythology, the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the sister of Apollo, the sun and healing god. She and Apollo were born as twins, and both had great temples built in their honor in ancient Greece and the Roman provinces throughout history. The temple in Ephesus dedicated to Artemis is the largest and most beautiful of all the temples built in her honor in Greece and Asia Minor.

Artemis was the goddess of chastity, fertility, and the woods, as well as the moon goddess and protector of virginity. She was the savior of hunters, soothsayers, nymphs, and muses. She walked in the woods and forests with the nymphs and was respected by all animals. Before getting married, virgin women used to visit her temple, sacrifice an animal based on their wealth, and pray for a good marriage. Artemis was depicted as a hunter, with a bow and arrows on her chest. She was known as “Artemis” in Greece and “Diana” to the Romans. The deer was her symbol, and the bear was her helper.

artemis temple in turkiye remnants of artemis temple backyard stone columns in artemis tapinagi turkey outside artemis temple near izmir kusadasi artemis tapinagi stone columns kusadasi old painting of temple of artemis turkiye

ARTEMIS TEMPLE: ONE OF THE SEVEN WONDERS

Historians consider the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus to be one of the seven wonders of antiquity. It was constructed circa 550 BC, upon the orders of the famous Lydian king Coresos, and was dedicated to the Greek goddess Artemis. The temple served as a centre of the pagan world until the advent of Christianity. People from all over the world would come to Ephesus to visit the temple, which provided a significant source of income for the city’s treasury. Upon arriving in Ephesus, visitors would first go to the commercial agora, where they would purchase a silver image of the temple of Diana. This would be taken to the responsible priest, who would then accept a sacrificial animal from the visitor. The ceremony was conducted by the pagan priests in a sacred atmosphere, during which visitors could request a wish and await a response. This system created a booming tourism industry, which for around 1000 years attracted millions of pagans to the temple of Artemis. The temple itself boasted 127 tall columns, 36 of which were decorated with sculptures and gifted to the temple by neighbouring kings.
The temple was approximately 250 m long and 75 m wide, with columns 33 m in length. The area used to be marshy and was drained using coal, and it took around 83 years to construct. It still occupies a vast area and precious stones, jewelry, gold coins and other treasures were kept in the cella and back treasury office, looked after by the priests, who were the wealthiest members of Ephesus. The temple was known throughout the ancient world as the ‘Federal Reserve’ or Central Bank of Asia, and those who entrusted their valuables to the temple, believing them to be safe in the hands of Artemis, received an annual gift of 5% interest. The money from these investors was then loaned out to merchants in Ephesus, who paid 7% back to the priests working in the temple with a 2% profit in between. Consequently, it was robbed and burned down on several occasions.
During the first century BC, the Roman era was at its peak; however, there was a looming threat present during Paul’s stay in Ephesus. Before Paul’s arrival, silversmiths were making a fortune selling images of Diana to visitors. However, when Paul was present, he often addressed the crowds with his followers, stating that “gods made by human hands are not really gods at all.” These words put an end to the business in just three years, as nobody wanted to buy silver images of the Artemis temple.

The Temple of Artemis or Roman Diana was destroyed by the Goths in 282 AD, with the marble columns being subsequently used to create other structures in the Byzantine period. In 434 AD, John the Crysostom destroyed the ruins of the so-called ‘Satan’s seat’. The Byzantines used the marble columns to construct churches, while the Selçuk and Ottoman Turks used them to build mosques in later centuries. The final and last green column was illegally removed by British archaeologists before the outbreak of World War I, and is now on display in the British Museum in London. Unfortunately, all that remains at the site of the temple is a single semi-column, as if to say, “I was burned, destroyed, and robbed.”

WHY VISIT TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS IN TURKIYE?

Are you looking for an incredible journey to explore the wonders of the ancient world? Look no further than Tour Maker Turkey! We specialize in providing luxurious and extraordinary tours to some of the most iconic ancient sites across Turkey. One of the most captivating sites not to be missed is the Temple of Artemis in Selcuk. This ancient temple was once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and is now a must-see tourist attraction. The Temple of Artemis is a breathtaking structure that stands as a reminder of the power of ancient civilizations. Constructed around 550 BC and dedicated to the goddess Artemis, it is the only temple of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that still exists today.

The temple was built with 115 Ionic columns, creating a majestic backdrop for visitors. As you explore the temple, you can still feel the awe-inspiring power of its grandeur. The Temple of Artemis is embedded in a fascinating history, which our local guides will be happy to share with you. Our knowledgeable guides will take you on a journey through time and show you the secrets of the temple. We will also bring you to other nearby attractions, such as the ruins of Ephesus, the House of Virgin Mary and the Isa Bey Mosque. You can immerse yourself in the culture and history of the area, discovering the stories behind these ancient structures. At Tour Maker Turkey, we are dedicated to providing our guests with an unforgettable experience.

Our tours are tailored to meet your individual needs and our knowledgeable guides will ensure that you have an unforgettable journey through Turkey. With our unique and luxurious guided tours, you can discover the secrets of the Temple of Artemis and explore the wonders of the ancient world. Join us now and let us take you on a journey of a lifetime!