At the entrance to the Aegean resort of Didim, lie the historical ruins of the Temple of Apollo. The name itself is not unique as there were many temples dedicated to the mythological god. Famous for his ability to heal, it comes as no surprise to learn the temple of Apollo in Didim was a popular sanctuary and one of the most famous oracles in the world.
About the Didim Temple of Apollo
The temple that we see today was not the original structure. An earthquake in approximately 494BC ruined that. Reconstruction started shortly after, mainly overseen by Alexander the Great but the temple was never completely finished.
Over hundreds of years, building work stopped and started but eventually Christianity spread throughout the region, making the concept of mythical gods redundant. Historians often surmise that had the construction of the temple finished, it would have rivalled its counterpart, the oracle of Delphi in Greece.
People travelled from miles around just to have a consultation with the high priestess of the temple but often poor people could not afford the sacrifice needed, leaving only the wealthy to take advantage of a prediction for the future.
Throughout the grounds that the temple is located in, ancient stones sit among green grass and daisy flowers and the most photographed is the mystic head of Medusa with the snarling snakes.
In the middle of them all, sits the temple bass and large stone columns pointing up to the sky. A slopping pathway leads from the temple entrance into the centre of the structure where remains lay of the spring water well. From this well, the high priestess drunk water that enticed her into a euphoric state, after which a priest repeated her predications and the sacrifice was made which was often a goat.
When comparing the temple with neighbouring ruins, especially the magnificent Roman city of Ephesus, it does pale in size but this should not distract from the overall structure and excellent excavation work that has taken place to reveal the temple in modern times.
Additional Info about the Temple
Many souvenir shops and traditional restaurants serving the national drink of tea surround the temple and the ruins are particularly impressive at sunset when backed with an orange and red glowing sky, providing the perfect photo opportunity.
Due to short distances between each other, it is possible to visit the ruins of Miletos, Priene, and the Temple of Apollo in one day. Our sales advisor can assist you with planning a visit.