Temple of Artemis

Ruins in Selçuk

In an empty field to the west of the centre, this lone reconstructed pillar is all that remains of the massive Temple of Artemis (or Artemision), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. At its zenith, the temple counted 127 columns; today, the only way to get any sense of its grandeur is to visit Didyma's better-preserved Temple of Apollo (which had a 'mere' 122 columns).

The temple was damaged by flooding – the surrounds are still frequently covered with water in spring – and various invaders during its 1000-year lifespan, but it was always rebuilt – a sign of the great love and attachment Ephesians felt for their fertility goddess (Diana to the Romans), whose cult brought tremendous wealth to the city from pilgrims and benefactors who included the greatest kings and emperors of their day.

From the south, there is a good view of the stork's-nest-topped pillar with İsa Bey Camii and Ayasuluk Hill beyond. Careful investigation of the area will reveal the ruins of an ancient sanctuary and the remains of the Artemision's great altar.