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TAKE TIME OUT FOR DIDIM

The beautiful seaside resort of Didim, also known as Didyma, is sheltered by sloping hills and its pretty beach is a perfect place to unwind for guests staying at Apollonium Spa and Beach.

But it is also famous for being home to one of Turkey’s magnificent ancient monuments, the Temple of Apollo and the second most important oracle outside Delphi providing excellent sightseeing opportunities.

Didyma means “twin” and it is believed the name derives from the birth of Apollo and his sister Artemis, fathered by the Greek God Zeus. It is thought that construction began on the temple around 300 BC and continued for another 500 years and with its towering 122 columns it was the third largest temple in the ancient Greek world.

Two giant columns, which can be seen for miles around, are all that remain of the 122 columns that stood for generations. It has been recorded that in the Christian era St Paul gave sermons here.

The Temple to Artemis was built in nearby Miletus, and the two were connected by The Sacred Way, built by Roman Emperor Trajan in 101 AD.

Over the centuries the temple has been ruined, razed, partly rebuilt and hit by earthquake. Oracle pronouncements were made to King Croesus, Alexander The Great and other great kings.

The Persian king Xerxes ruined and ransacked the temple in 480 BC, and Alexander The Great decided to reconstruct it after his conquest of the Persians, but the enormous task was never completed.

It is a stunning example of the richness of Turkey’s ancient culture and historical remains and is easily reached from Apollonium Spa and Beach on the shuttle buses provided by the resort three days each week.