Main Attractions in Didim

The only tourist spot of interest in Didim is the historical and mythical monument of the temple of Apollo. However, do not get disheartened the temple itself is so large and has so many things to see that you will soon be complaining about the lack of time. Apart from that the golden beaches in themselves are one of the main attractions of Didim.

The Temple of Apollo was called the Didymaion in ancient times. The Greek traveler Pausanias who traveled during 160A.D. recorded that the temple was constructed even before Greek colonization took place and that was in the 10th century B.C. The general belief is the temple actually dates aback to the 2nd millennium B.C. However, excavations have unearthed the initial level of the temple and archaeologists feel that the temple dates back to the 8th century B.C. and the walkway was constructed a century later.

The interior of the Temple was a sacred place in the ancient times. In fact, it was here that all the oracles were delivered by the priestess. This place had a secret society and the people came here to receive the oracle but only by paying a heavy price. The so called oracle delivered by the priest were a few words that could be interpreted in a variety of ways. The inner sanctuary was called the Naiskos and it contained the cult statue and the sacred spring, which was used in the oracle.

The two Ionic Capitals are the only remains of the 122 columns that graced the temple in the Roman times. The huge columns are in ruins today but narrate a past that was glorious. In the Christian era St. Paul gave public sermons from the Gospel from this very temple.

Another attraction in Didim is The Sacred Way, though situated outside the temple it still bears an important relation to the temple. According to legend both Apollo and Artemis were born in Didim, but though the temple of Apollo was built in Didim, the temple of Artemis was built in Miletus. These two places were originally connected by a road, which is known as The Sacred Way. Some flagstones are found all along the road that was built by Emperor Trajan in 101 A.D. But his intention about building the flagstones on the road seem to be debated, as some say that there was another road in the same location.

The Medusa Relief is a giant head of Medusa at Didim that was actually a fresco on the beams of the columns. It is believed that Aphrodisias chiseled it in the 2nd century A.D.