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Didyma Historic Site
A center of prophecy affiliated with Miletus and a city associated with Apollo, Didim is located in Aydin Province. The site of a large-size temple of Apollo, the ancient city is known to be densely populated and frequently visited.
Alexander the Great wanted to rebuild the temple of Apollo, destroyed during the Persian Wars, on an even grander scale but the construction was not completed in centuries. A sacred route connects this temple with Miletus.
Didyma is today best known as a holiday centre, but it actually takes its name from one of the greatest centres of knowledge of the ancient world, which is the Temple of Apollo with its famous oracle. The original temple was destroyed by the Persians but on the orders of Alexander the Great, and with his financial help, an even bigger temple was started.
After 600 years it still wasn’t finished due mostly to industrial disputes or strikes amongst the workers. Because of this there was many a hitch in the quarrying, transportation and carving of up to 70,000 kg of marble which make up the temple.
Still, the temple is one of the most superb architectural creations of the ancient world. The 122 marble columns, each 20 metres in height and more than 3 metres in diameter, were brought in from Herakleia 40 kilometres away. If the temple had ever been finished it would have become the seventh wonder of the ancient world, but the rise of Christianity meant that there was no need for such a centre of pagan learning.