Didyma

didymaDidyma which has Temple of Apollo is located near the village of Yenihisar (Yoran) near the town of Söke in the province of Aydin in the Aegean region in Turkey. Here one finds an important sanctuary that housed one of the oracles of Apollo. It was connected to Miletus by sea, and those arriving by ship would land at the harbour of Panormus and thence follow the Sacred way to Didyma. Until its destruction by thePersians in 494 B.C. it was administered by the family of the Branchidae, the descendants of Bronchos, a youth beloved of Apollo. For the last two kilometers the Sacred Way was lined with seated statues of the male and female members of the Branchidae family. After his capture of Miletus in 334 B. C. Alexander the Great placed the administration of the oracle in the hands of the city of Miletus. In 331 B.C. the oracle proclaimed Alexander “the son of Zeus”. In 300 B.C. the Milesians embarked on the construction of the largest temple in the Greek world. Although work continued until the middle of the 2nd century A.D. the temple was never finished. Later, a church and other buildings were constructed, while the Byzantines built a barracks in which troops were garrisoned…

Temple of Apollo

Along with several myths, it was thought that the name Dydimaion which meant ”temple of the twins” or “twin temples” was related to Artemis that is the twin sister of Apollo.

didymaThe temple of Apollo was built at the end of the 8th century BC, which was 10.20 meters wide, 24 meters long and slightly narrowed towards the east and according to the foundations of secos (sacred courtyard) walls uncovered in the north and south parts. The simple and small temple contained a cult statue, an altar, a sacred source and the symbols of Apollo. Remains of a columned building which is 15.50 meters long and 3.60 meters wide, revealed by exploratory digging carried out to the south-west of the temple.

The inner facades of the walls of the sacred courtyard were fortified by pilasters in the form of half columns, which brought color to the long, high walls. The height of the walls of the 50.25 meter long and 17.45 meter wide secos (sacred courtyard) reached 17.5 meters. The greatness of the distances between the pilasters on the walls destroys the theory of the secos was roofed.

The Temple of Apollo were damaged by fire and in the 15th century further damage was caused by a great earthquake. The Temple of Apollo (Didymaion) was the largest and wealthiest Ionic temple in Anatolia and was renowned for its holy relics, its treasury, its sacred spring and sacred laurel grove. Investigations in the Temple of Apollo were first undertaken in 1834 by the French traveller Charles Texier and the English archaeologist Charles T. Newton, who had conducted the excavations at Halicarnassus..