Today a lone column towering over a scattering of fallen stones in a marshly lowland on the Selçuk–Ephesus road is all that remains of a temple that was once four times larger than the Parthenon in Athens, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Fragments of the temple are on display at Isa Bey Mosque. Begun in the 7th century BC, greatly expanded by the wealthy Lydian king Croesus, and redone in marble in the 6th century BC, the temple was torched by a disgruntled worshipper in 356 BC. Rebuilt by Alexander the Great, it was captured by Goths in AD 263 and later stripped for materials to build Istanbul's Aya Sofya and Selçuk's St. John Basilica. As goddess of the hunt and wild creatures, Artemis might well approve of the temple's new inhabitants: lizards, frogs, and storks. The temple is an easy 10-minute walk along a tree-lined road from Selçuk center, and more evocative if you visit it alone.
Selçuk, İzmir, Turkey