Also known as Temple of Diana, The Temple Of Artemis at Ephesus
Was once located in Ephesus, which is modern day Turkey. One of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, this temple was built in mid 6 century BC. It was very famous for its great grandeur and size and drew thousands of admirers from far and wide.
The Temple Of Artemis was built in the honor of Greek Goddess Artemis, who is the Goddess of the hunt and Moon. This temple was built by an extraordinarily skilled architect from Crete – Cherisiphron with the help of Metagenes, his son. The temple had a strategic location in Asia Minor which was at commercial crossroads and attracted a huge crowd of different religious beliefs.
The Temple did not have a typical rectangular portico which was very common to the Greek temples of that time. This Temple had an outstanding Near-Eastern design and Classic Greek which added to the architectural marvel. There were 127 ionic columns which stood tall at a height of 60 feet. The temple was built of marble and measured 377 feet by 180 feet and had drums with high relief wonderfully done sculptural scenes which were a complete treat for the eyes. This was completely different from the simple flutes which could have been carved into them as the normal trend during those times and quite expected.
The interior section of the Temple featured Amazon warriors beautifully depicted along with featured sculptures, carved by some of the best and most respected Greek sculptors who included Pheidias and Polysclitus. The walls were wonderfully adorned with stunning paintings and artwork. The cult statue which was within this temple, was that large as the statue of Zeus located at Olympia, but was life sized. It stood on a marble pedestal in its full glory.
Interesting Facts About The Temple
Construction and Destruction Mysteries – The temple is known to be built first in 800 BC but it was destroyed in 7th century. Reconstruction started again in 550 BC and it took approximately 10 years to build it again. As per a theory, this temple was completely destroyed in a flood while other historians believe that it was destroyed due to war. The second Temple built was at least 4 times larger than the previous Temple. However, the temples were always built in the same site.
Wonder In Marble – Historians believe that this is the first temple which was constructed of Marble. It is also the first temple in the history of World to be constructed in marble.
Antipater of Sidon who compiled list of Wonders is quoted “I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, ‘Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand.’” He believed that this temple was the grandest of all the 7 Wonders of The Ancient World.
In 1904 through another British Museum expedition and under the leadership of D.G Hograth, excavation continued in the site. During this excavation, evidence was found of 5 temples on this site. Each of these temples was constructed over the remains of the previous temple.
After the destruction of the first two Temples, the third temple was there for 600 years till it was destroyed in 268 AD by the Goths. After this, it was not rebuilt again. The temple was never rebuilt again due to the huge cost involved in its construction. Now, the site of the Temple is a swamp.