Didyma History

DIDYMA

Didyma History

The oracle of Apollo had great fame in the archaic period. The belief in gods had reached enormous proportions by erecting the great numbers of temples in Anatolia. The most important of the temples were dedicated to Apollo were the Didymaion in Anatolia and Temple of Apollo at Delphi in Greece. 

Pausanias claims that the Apollo temple at Didyma had been built before the Greek colonization. It is believed that the existence of Didyma goes back to the 2nd millennium BC like that of Miletus and Priene. However the earliest temple remains date back to the end of the 8th century BC, according to the results of excavations research work undertaken up to the present day.

The ruins of the Temple of Apollo belong to the 4th century BC temple that you see today. The temple porch held 120 huge columns with richly carved bases reminiscent of Karnak in Egypt. There is a great doorway behind the porch where poems about oracle were written and presented to petitioners. On both side of the porch covered ramps lead down to the cella (inner room) where the oracle sat and prophesied. The grounds include a photogenic head of Medusa and contain fragments of rich decoration. There used to be a road lined with statues that led to small harbor, but the statues were taken to the British Museum in 1858 after standing unmoved for 23 centuries.

Didyma History