Temple of Artemis
The seven wonders of the world are structures of extraordinary beauty and size, completely built by humans. Known as the seven wonders of the ancient period, these structures are spread across different countries of the world. We are quite lucky in this regard. Because many of these beautiful buildings are on our land. One of them is the Temple of Artemis. The other name of this building, located in the Selçuk district of İzmir, is Diana Temple.
The Temple of Artemis, or Artemision, was originally known as the Temple of Diana and was a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis. The ruins of the temple are located in Ephesus. The ancient city of Ephesus is one of the oldest structures in the world that can survive with the least deterioration rate. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the temple was completely rebuilt three times before its final destruction in 401 AD.
Today, only the foundations of the temple and the sculptures in the temple remain. The first sacred Temple of Artemis dates back to the Bronze Age when the Ionian migration began. In the 7th century BC, the old temple was destroyed by a flood. Its reconstruction was started in the Gulf of Lydia in 550 BC under the Cretan architect Chersiphron and his son Metagenes. The project took 10 years to complete. The temple was destroyed by an arson action in 356 BC and then rebuilt.
Where is the Temple of Artemis?
The Temple of Artemis was established near the ancient city of Ephesus, approximately 75 km south of the modern port city of Izmir. Today, it is located on the border of Ephesus Ancient City Selçuk. The sanctuary (temenos) in Ephesus was older than the Artemis Ruin itself. Pausanias was sure that the temple began years before the Ionian migration and was older than Apollo's divine temple in Didyma.
The pre-ionic inhabitants of the city were Leleges and Lydians. Today, 1 column and some sculpture pieces belonging to the temple are exhibited in Ephesus. The main reason for the temple damage over the years is that its roof is wooden. The top made of wood has not survived until today, although it has been repaired many times since it burned very quickly and was affected by the earthquake.
The Temple of Artemis consists of two phases. During the first phase, the Archaic period, the temple was hardly damaged. In the second phase, called Hellenistic, it was burned by Herostratos the night Alexander the Great was born. Accordingly, the following developments occurred in the phases of the temple;
First Phase (Archaic Period)
Architects such as Chersiphron, Metagenes, and Theodoros worked in its construction. There are reliefs on the lower parts of the columns. It is assumed that there is a window in the pediment, and an epiphany is made from here.
Second Phase (Hellenistic Period)
The architects of this period are known as Paionios, Demetrios, and Kheirokrates. It contains similarities with the previous period in many respects. Differently, there are 9 columns at the back and 3 rows of columns in the front.
The architecture of the Temple of Artemis
The Temple of Artemis was built to be dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Croesus, the incredibly wealthy king of Lydia (560-542 BC), gave the order to begin constructing the temple. Being entirely marble, it is one of the largest Greek temples ever built, measuring 115 meters in length and 54 meters in width. The floor is built on packaged coal and sheepskins. Large column drums and architraves were moved from the quarry.
It is thought that there were 127 columns, each 17 meters high, in the Temple of Artemis. According to Antipader of Sidon; The Temple of Artemis was even more magnificent than the Statue of Zeus, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. When Antipader sees the Temple of Artemis, he expresses that all other beauties lost their shine.
The temple, which reflects the sun's gigantic image and the high pyramids' excellent craftsmanship, has not survived to this day. The tiny model of the Temple of Artemis in Miniatürk Park in Istanbul was prepared based on the first temple's probable appearance.
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