Today Didyma is a small village close to the sea and is popular with
tourists for its golden sandy beaches, but hidden away in
the centre of the town is a large hole where excavations have uncovered an
important sanctuary that housed one of the oracles of Apollo.
Alexander the Great (who seemed to fund a lot of building in this area) decided
to rebuild the temple after his victory over the Persians. The Temple was never
completely finished, probably on account of its enormous dimension (120m long and
24m wide). Christianity put an end to pagan rites and festivals and prevented the
temple from being completed.
Traces remain of the temple's base and 3 Ionian columns standing 25m high are still
upright, out of the original 120. There are also stones from the sacrificial altar
and an antique fountain. The interior court, the pronaos and the steps leading to the
sacrarium can be all be identified. All around there are fragments of statuary
such as the head of the Medusa with snakes for hair and fangs for teeth as she was
transformed by Athena. A long Sacred Way with colonnaded porticoes led from Miletus to the sanctuary.