History of Didim

Didim was originally a pre-Greek religious group that grew up around a sacred wood and holy spring. This natural spring was the place where Leto conceived and gave birth to the twins Artemis and Apollo who were fathered by Zeus. The temple of Apollo was built in Didim and since Apollo spells as didymoi in Greek, the source of Didim's name seems to be very clear.

The earliest temples almost date back to the 7th and 8th century B.C., but its remains lie beneath the later edifices. This is the site of the most significant oracle location in Asia Minor and its announcements have been made to Croesus, Alexander the Great and other great kings. The Persian King Xerxes ruined the temple in 480 B.C. and ransacked many of the statues and also emptied the great treasury. Alexander the Great decided to reconstruct the temple after his victory over the Persians. However, the temple never was completed due to its enormous size. Further, the arrival of Christianity saw to the abolishment of all pagan rites and hindered the completion of the temple.