The Temple of Artemis was located on the southwest of Ayasuluk hill where Selcuk Castle located on. It was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World by ancient writers. Today on Ephesus tours you can can only see the ruins of the foundations of this marvelous construction of the Hellenistic Age, entirely made of marble and full of sculptured columns’ capitals and shafts.
The first Temple Artemis is said to have been erected around 800 BC. The fisrt temple had a sacred stone was beleived that it was fallen from “Jupiter”. The goddess Artemis of Ephesus called as Diana in Rome, was not the same as the one worshipped in Greece. The Artemis of Ephesus was the the goddess of fertility. The Greek Artemis was the goddes of hunting. After local people who were believing Cybele and Ionians began tol ive together, they synthesized Greek Artemis and Cybele and they all adored Artemis of Ephesus. She was often depicted as a female figure draped with eggs, multiple breast, which were the symbols of fertility, from her waist to the shoulders, a thrown o her head, bulls, deers, queen bees downwards. The temple was used for pilgrimige, trade, and tourism.
The Temple of Artemis was destroyed and reconstructed for several times through history of Ephesus. After construction in 800 BC, another temple, more magnificant than the first one, was contructed with high stone columns in the same strip In 600 BC. When Lydians conquered the city of Ephesus in 550 BC. they destroyed the temple during the fight. The archeologists scouted the area and made a conculision that the temple might have been hit by a flood at the same time.
The Temple of Artemis was the first sanctuary which was erected of marble. There were 127 columns in total that were carved and circular, 20 m (60 feet) in lenght with Ionic capitals. It was ornamented by the bronze statues of Amazons, adorned with golden pillars, paintings and silver statuettes. The structure rectangular in shape had marble steps surrounding the temple. This temple was the pride of Ephesus city. It became an important port city visited by tourist from vast distances, kings, artisans due to the fame of this temple. When the Goths invaded the city, the Temple of Artemis was burnt down in 260s, it was not rebuilt again. The Roman Emperor Constantine accepted the Christianity and people had lost their interest in this religion of Artemis. Today it is stil accepted as the third oldest wonders of the ancient world. Through many boks, including the Bible, it can be read though it has been much long. Philon of Byzentum mentioned that about the Temple ofArtemis with these words : ”I have seen the walls and Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon, the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the mighty work of the high Pyramids and the tomb of Mausolus. But when I saw the temple at Ephesus rising to the clouds, all these other wonders were put in the shade”
You can stil see a single column which is erected to remind the people in the original site in Ephesus and Temple of Artemis’s remains stand on the exhibition in the British Museum.