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Ephesus Private Tours

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Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world was rediscovered in 1869 by John Turtle Wood. It is the first marble temple of the Ancient world. Like all the other Artemis temples it was faced to the west. The Temple was designed and constructed in 6th c. BC. Early construction was built at the expense of Croesus, the wealthy king of Lydia. Marshy ground was selected for the building site as a precaution against future earthquakes. The temple became a tourist attraction, visited by merchants, kings, and sightseers, many of whom paid homage to Artemis in the form of jewelry and various goods. Its splendor also attracted many worshippers, many of whom formed the cult of Artemis. The temple of Artemis at Ephesus was burned on July 21, 356 BC in an act committed by Herostratus. According to the story, his motivation was fame at any cost, thus the term herostratic fame. That very same night, Alexander the Great was born. Plutarch remarked that Artemis was too preoccupied with Alexander's delivery to save her burning temple. Alexander later offered to pay for the Temple's rebuilding, but the Ephesians refused. Eventually, the temple was restored after Alexander's death, in 323 BC. In 401, the temple was finally destroyed by a mob led by christians, and the stones were used in construction of other buildings. Some of the columns (green) in Hagia Sophia originaly belonged to the temple of Artemis.