Didyma: City of Sun and Waters

Rose the guide

my blog

Didyma: City of Sun and Waters and Prophecy

Famous historian Herodot once said: Ionians in Panianion had established their city under the best sun and climate known on Earth!

I guess Herodot was right...

Didyma… Beautiful beaches, azure waters, bays, healthy water and climate… Country of sea, sun and sand where the wonders of the ancient world and nature binge together.

Location of Didyma

Temple in Didyma, one of the 3 biggest prophecy centers, was built for Apollon, god of music, light, sun and prophecy. The largest Ion temple in Anatolia, which has managed to survive until today by defying the time with its stone walls decorated with human and animal reliefs, expertly carved Ion columns, and high stairs, still attracts people with its magnificent structure today like it did before.

The griffons on the walls of cella of temple of Apollo in Didyma Photo: flickr @F. Tronchin
The griffons on the walls of cella in temple of Apollo in Didyma Photo: flickr @F. Tronchin

The griffons on the walls of cella where only the oracles had access were believed to protect the fortune of god Apollon.

Medusa was guardian of all evil
Medusa was guardian of all evil - Apollon Temple Didyma photo: Lauren van Zoonen from pixabay

Medusa, symbol of Apollon temple, was guardian of all evil that’s why it was used as relief on doors and temples in the ancient world. 

Temple of Apollon - Didyma

Just to give you an idea of how big was the temple of Apollon in Didyma / photo: @arkeopoliss by twitter
Just to give you an idea of how big was the temple of Apollon in Didyma / photo: @arkeopoliss by twitter

This sacred space was kept isolated from the daily life of the ancient city, and was built at a certain distance in order for the religious authority not to be corrupted. The temple was an important center of prophecy in antiquity. People from all social classes and kings would make donations and receive interpretations about their future.

Legend has it that Apollo taught the shepherd Brancos how to prophesy. Following the shepherd, who founded the first temple, the Branchists ruled the oracle for hundreds of years. The sacred road leading from the harbor to the temple and the marble sculpture lining it were built in this period (6th century BC). When travelers from neighboring cities landed in the harbor they would reach the temple via this sacred road. The city of Miletus and the temple were linked through a separate road.

Legend has it that Apollo taught the shepherd Brancos how to prophesy. Following the shepherd, who founded the first temple, the Branchists ruled the oracle for hundreds of years. The sacred road leading from the harbor to the temple and the marble sculpture lining it were built in this period (6th century BC). When travelers from neighboring cities landed in the harbor they would reach the temple via this sacred road. The city of Miletus and the temple were linked through a separate road.

didiyma apollon temple aydin turkey
Didyma Apollon Temple photo: Pixabay by Lauren van Zoonen

History of Apollon Temple - Didyma

When the Persians punished the lonians who had rebelled against them they destroyed both the city of Miletus and the temple. Under Alexander the Great, the ruins of the previous temple were replaced by a magnificent temple, a significant part of which has survived to our day. The construction of the temple continued in the Seleucid period. The marble sculptures that lined the sacred road until 1857 were removed by the British during the Ottoman Empire’s period of decline and taken to the British Museum.

People who came from neighboring cities for the annual festivities would watch the competitions held in the stadium, adjacent to the temple. A large part of the famous temple, which covers an area of around 109×51 meters and whose columns reach a height of 19.5 meters, has survived to our day.

Related posts

Tuğçe gül RosetheGuide