You may have already marveled at the Hanging Gardens of the once majestic Babylon or even gawked at the spectacular statue of the Greek god Zeus. But if you havent walked under the grandiose arch of the Temple of Artemis, you clearly havent seen the best of what the ancient world had to offer.
Such were the words coming from Antipater of Sidon who likened the Temple of Artemis as the grandest of all the marvels of the ancient world. Today, visiting and walking in the shadows of the once-mighty temple built for the gods is made super easy for anyone travelling to Turkey.
Getting to Ephesus to imagine the imposing structure that once dotted the blue Turkish skies is quite easy since this ancient world is now made a lot more accessible via the township of Selçuk.
If youre an international visitor, you can easily fly in into Instanbul and get on a flight to Izmir.
Alternatively, you can just make an arrangement with tour operators providing services to Ephesus. Once you get to Izmir, hop on one of those buses bound for Selçuk. If there are no buses, you can instead head towards Kudasi which should get you closer to Ephesus. You can also take a taxi if you want. At the Selçuk bus station, you will need to ride a mini bus towards the Ephesus entrance.
If you happen to be on a luxury cruise ship that calls to port either at Izmir Harbor or at the Kudasi Harbor, you can easily drive to the ancient town. From Izmir, the drive will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. From Kudasi, Ephesus is only 20 minutes away.
Travelling to these majestic ancient ruins is worth the journey as you will discover when you arrive. There are many top travel experiences around the world, but this has to be one of this region’s must-see destination for its importance in Turkish history and mythical literature.
Visiting the Temple of Artemis requires a bit of imagination as only the original foundations as well as a few sculptural fragments remain since it was destroyed in 401 AD. Today, only a single column marks the site of the once-glorious temple. Prior to its destruction, the temple underwent three major rebuilding projects with the very first structures built around the Bronze Age.
A massive flood destroyed the original temple sometime during the 7th century BC. It was reconstructed in 550 BC only to be destroyed by deliberate fire in 356 BC by Herostratus. Rebuilding the temple began in earnest in 323 BC. The final temple now had more than 127 columns and was 137 meters long, 69 meters wide, and 18 meters high.
Today, the Temple of Artemis may no longer have the imposing structure that reverberated power across the Aegean and the Mediterranean, but it is still a very magnificent site to behold. One only has to have the power of imagination to create a very vivid image of where the mighty statue of the Greek goddess Artemis used to stand or where the various structural ornaments once lay.
The fact is that there really isnt much to see in Ephesus anymore. But for those who are loyal followers of Greek mythology, this is one place that they can never strike off their bucket lists. Walking with the Gods may be imaginary, but its in the earth where the temple once stood that tells the true story.