It was the third day of sightseeing in Turkey.  We stayed in a nice hotel in Ayvalik and from there, the bus will start rolling going to our next destination which is Sardis.  That morning, I set the  alarm at 5:30 and even set it two times to make it sure that I will wake up at the right time.  I need to be ready before before going  for breakfast which starts at 6:00.  At around 7:30, the bus already started its journey.

The Altar outside the entrance of Artemis much older than the temple, from as early as the 6th century BC. In the Hellenistic period the altar was incorporated into a large stepped platform that still exists.

The sky was gray and cloudy when we left Ayvalik. After an hour driving on the road, the sun was slowly shining. This is the advantage of going in a group tour, everything is already organized and you don’t need to worry about accommodation, meals and transportation.

I enjoyed the sights along the road seeing hills and mountains, wild flowers including the blossoms of the cherry trees and other fruit-bearing trees, small towns and  big cities, houses and mosques and more. After some breaks and stops, we arrived  Sardis at around 11:00 in the morning.

Huge capital from the Temple of Artemis.

I did not expect that we will be visiting the Temple of  Artemis in Sardis since it was not included in our itinerary.  I thought we will be only visiting the  historic Gymnasium and the Synagogue in Sardis. But then, who will say no if you are given the chance to visit more sights during your trip. Right folks?

“Sardis or Sardes was an ancient city at the location of modern Sart in Minisa Province in  Turkey.  was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times. As one of the Seven churches of Asia, it was addressed by the author John of the Book of Revelation in the Holy Bible in terms which seem to imply that its population was notoriously soft and fainthearted. Its importance was due, first to its military strength, secondly to its situation on an important highway leading from the interior to the Aegean coast, and thirdly to its commanding the wide and fertile plain of the Hermus.” wikipedia

The Temple of Artemis in Sardis was the fourth largest Ionic temple in the world. Originally built in 300 BC by the ancient Greeks, the temple was renovated by the Romans in the 2nd century AD. During the Roman period it served also as a temple of the imperial cult.

The construction on the Temple of Artemis began in about 334 BC, soon after Sardis was liberated from Alexander the Great. The original temple was probably a dipteros – a temple with two rows of columns around an enclosed inner section. Unusually, the entrance was on the west side; a feature required by the nature of the site.

Turkey.Sardis.Artemis.DSC_0355The Ruins of the Temple of Artemis in Sardis, Turkey.

“Artemis was the main goddess of the city and the temple dedicated to her in Sardis was one of the seven largest Greek temples (more than double the size of the Parthenon). Artemis, known as Diana by the Romans, was the daughter of Zeus and twin of Apollo.  She was the goddess of the hunt, the moon and fertility.”

 What to See at the Temple of Artemis

Most of what remains today dates from the Roman rebuild in the 2nd century. Only two complete columns and a few partial ones still stand, but the temple remains an impressive sight against the backdrop of the acropolis.

On the western side of the temple is a freestanding altar to Artemis that dates from the 6th-5th century BC. Built against the southeast corner of the temple was a small Christian chapel of the 4th century.

I was very happy and contented during that visit in the Temple of Artemis. I already visited the one located   in Ephesus but so far the ruins in Sardis impressed me more. But then, I still considered both ruins as  great architecture and monuments during the ancient times. Honor and respect to those people who were involved in such historic  buildings and creations.

There are still a lot of historic sights to see and to explore in Turkey. One by one,  when given the chance, I will surely visit some or most  of it. Turkey is indeed rich in culture and history and must to visit for every traveler.

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The Author

Traveling has always been her passion. Ruby wants to share her travels, adventures and personal experiences in Europe and maybe from around the world. The reason why Europe Travel Pad was created. Discover Europe virtually through this blog and travel with her as the journey goes on.