Artemis, who was believed to be the daughter of Zeus and Leto was also known to be the twin sister of Apollo. She was the goddess of hunting, childbirth, virginity and wild animals.
She was symbolized as the supporter of Troy due to her brother Apollo, who was the patron god of this city. The other reason was that she was worshipped in western Anatolia in ancient times and therefore played a great role in the war of Troy.
Temple of Artemision in Ionia at Ephesus in Turkey, became one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was built in Ephesus on a flat area which has turned into a swamp over the centuries. Today there are only the ruins of this marvelous construction of the Hellenistic Age which was made of marble and sculptured columns. The most beautiful remainings of this temple are exhibited in the London British Museum.
The oldest remaining found dates back to 6th century BC. It was surrounded by 36 huge columns, later enlarged upon the orders of the Lydian King, Kreisos during the 6th Century BC. Most of the exhibits in the London British Museum belong to this period.
The new Artemis temple was built in the 2nd century BC. It was located on top of the previous one and had tremendous dimensions like 121 columns of each 17,5 meters high. Unfortunately this temple was destroyed by fire and reconstructed but then again demolished by earthquakes. Eventhough it was rebuilt lastly plundered by the Goths one year later.
She was described as the Lady of Ephesus and decorated with many rounded breast like lumps on her chest which have been thought to be breasts, eggs, grapes, acorns or bull testes. The genuine statue of Artemis removed during the fire and today it is exhibited in the Selcuk Ephesus Museum. Many copies of this statue found during the latest excavations date back from the Roman period.
The Artemis temple had 121 columns but today only one composite stands at the temple’s location. The rest of the columns were used to make churches, roads and forts.
OTTI's Ephesus Tours will give you opportunity to explore The temple of Artemision.