Turkey // The North Aegean //

The temple of Artemis

The Temple of Artemis, once among the four largest temples in Asia Minor, was built by Croesus, destroyed by Greek raiders during the Ionian revolt, and rebuilt by Alexander the Great. Today fifteen massive Ionic columns remain standing, though only two are intact. However, enough of the foundations remains to suggest just how large the building, constructed to rival the temples of Ephesus, Samos and Didyma, used to be. The remains of a small Byzantine church huddle beside the two complete columns. More than anything, it’s the beauty of the setting, enclosed by wooded and vine-covered hills and accented by weird Cappadocia-like pinnacles, that leaves a lasting impression.