Apollo

Legend
During the First Age, it has been believed that ability of prophecy and foreseeing the events is given the people by the God of Sun, light, music and prophecy; Apollo, who was the son of Zeus. There are temples dedicated to his God at many locations in Anatolia and back at those times the priests and priestesses have been mediating to this God and prophesied to the people who came to them for consult. According to the legend; God Apollo meets a shepherd, Brankhos one day. He likes him very much and teaches him the secrets of prophecy. Shepherd Brankhos has founded the first temple in the name of Apollo. As times passes, people who are descendants of Brankhos have begun to be called as “Brankhids” and they manage the Apollo Temple for a very long time. “Didyma” has also been named “Brankhidia” ( the land of Brankhids) for this reason. Back then, prophecy was a resource which was used by all the people ranging from the kings to the poorest villagers. So and so, Kroisos, Lidia King has consulted to prophets before attacking Persia. After hearing that a big empire will come down at the end of the attack he will make against the Persian Kingdom, Kroisos eagerly set out for war. But the kingdom that has come down is Lidia Kingdom at the end of this war…

History
Temple of Apollo has been used to cover the needs of people living in Miletus, which is 16 km to the North and the people of other relevant areas for learning their futures and finding solutions to their problems. Temple of Apollo was called ”DIDIYMAION”. The authors of the First Age can not exactly give the source for this name. But there are people who say “ this name which means the Twin Temple or Temple of Twins must be derived from a mountain with two tops or twins which Apollo liked”. French historian Charles Texsier also states that two hills, which are paralel to each other and which are called as “Tek Ağaç (Single Tree)” residence today has been called “Didymaion”. This first Temple of Apollo belonging to Archaic age has been visited by so many rulers, even by Lidia King Croesus. At the end of attacks have been carried out by Persians to Anatolia in 5th century B.C. Darius have been demolished this temple together with the city and has taken the bronze Apollo statue inside together with lost of prisoners. The temple which has been left demolished and deserted for 150-180 years after this attack and demolition has been began to be reconstructed in its from that we see today after the victory of Alexander the Great against Persians. Dephnis, who reconstructed the Artemis Temple burned in Ephesus, has been assigned as the architect. The Temple was supposed to be the eighth wonder of the world when finished. The constructing the temple have given up working for some time since they could not get their money. This is the first strike in the history in a sense. In spite of all difficulties, the construction of this temple has been tried to be carried on until the middle of 2nd century A.C. However, the beliefs have also changed together with the generations and centuries that have changed and Christianity religion has been also adopted by the people of Didim. Thus, God Apollo has forgotten and the temple which has been being built in his name has lost its importance. The construction has been left half finished in spite of all the efforts made by Roman kings. Final workmanship being applied on some parts of the walls, some stones’ not being shaved and the single high column on the sunny side being fluteless are all signs of this. The Temple of Apollo has been built on a flat and most suitable area. Earthquake- resistant grid plan has been applied its foundations and it has been considered to put 124 columns around it (to hold the roof).Height of the columns is 19.4 meters. The most interesting part of the temple is its monumental gate with a threshold of 1.45 meters. This giant threshold which has been surrounded by single-piece marble blocks of approximately 60 tons of weight and 7 meters of length on the right, left and at the floor has not been constructed out of an architectural necessity. The religious view of the time had a major role in this. According to the belief of the age, the people who came to workship did not enter the temple and gathered around the altar in front of it. However, Priests and the prophets relevant to the Apollon culture used to enter the temple. Some fires and an earthquake that occurred through the end of the 14th century A.C. has largely damaged and demolished the temple.