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Didim is shaped as a peninsula surrounding Mugla on the east coast with huge inlet of Akbuk town, Aegean sea on the west and east coast, Lake Bafa and the Menderes River on the northern coast. 106 km's to Aydin provenience, 53 km' to Söke town, 73 km's to Kusadasi, 110 km's to Bodrum. Spread to 300 km2. of area.
DIDYMA (Didim) was a sacred place starting from the 8th century B.C. as it was a cult center for the city of Miletos with a spring and sacred grove. The word Didyma meant 'twins' and was associated by some as being the meeting place of Zeus and Leto to have their twins Apollo and Artemis.
Today it is surrounded by a Turkish village call DIDIM. It is in Söke district of the province of AYDIN and distanced about 9 mi.[15 km.] to Miletos , 33 mi.[53 km.] to Söke, 39 mi. [62 km.] Ephesus and 69 mi.[110 km.] to Bodrum. As you can notice, these ancient places are pretty close each other, so as a tourists you can visit all this sacred places of ancient Anatolia by a day trip journey.
There are two important temples in Didyma; Apollon and Artemis temples. The TEMPLE OF APOLLON which was one of the largest masterpieces of Hellenistic architecture.
The Hellenistic ARTEMIS TEMPLE measured by 33(~109 mt) by 15(~51 mt) feets and had a total of 124 columns. Columns are still standing. In the temple grounds are fragments of its rich decoration including a striking head of Medusa (she of the hair of snakes).
Temple was destroyed by the Persians in 494 B.C. then rebuilt by ALEXANDER THE GREAT's orders. Sometimes after it toppled by an earthquake. Pillaged for stone by the locals there after and then for statues by the British Museum in 1858. It now stands beside the main road and surrounded by a fence next to boxes of modern Mediterranean houses.
In ancient time Didyma was on the sea side and following the shore a road ('Sacret road') from Miletos was connected to the harbor of Didyma, called Panormos. Road continues to the south again and on either side of the road there were statues of recumbent lions, statues of the priests of the Temple of Apollo. Entire 'Sacret Road' is stone paved.
The Temple of Apollo was a major monument is it's day, however now not much of it's sanctuary can be seen. What can be seen is a collasal, unfinished Ionic temple.
If are you are visiting the Ephesus/Kusadasi area and also want visit to Didyma(Didim), transportation is available with 'dolmus'(collective transport which is in most cases it is a mini-van). They regularly run to Kusadasi and Bodrum. You can also arrange your journey with local travel/tour agencies. They offer tours to both places.
There is also a daily ferry service from Bodrum where you can catch a boat to the Greek island of Kos. ( More information )
A few minutes away from DIDIM comes Turkey's one of the best natural beach ALTINKUM (The golden sand). Whole ALTINKUM shore embraces thousands of islands of which some are not even shown on the maps and with its curved shores, this shore can not be described easily because it is absolutely beautiful! The whole area offers beautiful beaches(3), water sports, good hotels and resorts, restaurants bar, discotecs and a good value holiday for everone!
Todays DIDIM, where the sun & the sea hug each other, it is an ideal holiday resort for those who love aquatics, fishing, diving, sailing, trekking, hunting, history and nature.
Didim has about 200 touristic accommodations with a total of 13.000 guest rooms. These rooms come in different price ranges... varying from pensions to camping areas, and from hotels to holiday resorts that will meet your expectations.
It is believed that the name of Priene is not Greek but is related to pre-Greek names of Cretan origin, such as Praisos and Priansos. In recent years, the theory gains weight that Priene was one of the cities of the Kingdom of Ahhiyava, which is believed to have been founded in the Miletus region, and that its name also derives from that origin. Therefore, our knowledge of the initial foundation of the city, whose existence goes back to the 2nd millennium BC, rests on hypotheses. The fact that the location of the pre-4th century BC Priene has not yet been able to be determined up to the present day, plays an important role in this. According to the information gathered from ancient sources, Pausanias has written that Priene was founded by Aipythos, son of Neleus of Athens, and by Philotas of Thevai, and that the native population was Carian, whereas Strabo gave the information that the city was founded by Philotas and that it was then called Kadme.
Miletus is situated in Soke's Balat village. In ancient times it was on the coast and the most famous of Ionian harbours. Its name in Hittite records was Millawandash. It was famous in the classical period which the scholars called "fusiolog". Herodotus wrote that it was founded by the Cretans and Carians. It was an important Micanean colony towards the middle of 2000 B.C., however in the 7th century B.C. it had more than 80 colonies from the farthest corners of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. After its destruction by the armies of Darius in 494 B.C. it was reconstructed. It was under Persian rule for two centuries. With the conquest of Alexander the great, it became one of the greatest metropolis of Aegean Anatolia and remained its importance during the Roman period as well. In the Byzantine period despite the fact that the sea. had withdrawn, the commercial port could still be used thanks to the ships which sailed through the Menderes river. Because the remains of antique building resembled palaces. It went by the name Palatia for some time; and during the last days of Byzantine rule, it became a shelter of pirates.
Dalyan damlari...Eventually in the 8th century it was converted into a Turkish town by the Mentese principality as "Turkish Balat', although it went through a period of splendour during the rule of Menteseogullari gradually losing its importance, it turned into a small village in the 18th century and the village mentioned here was moved elsewhere after the 1955 earthquake.
The systematic archaeological digs in Miletus were started by T.Wiegand in 1899, Carl Weickerd headed the one in 1939 and the latest ones took place under the direction of G. Kleiner.
GriffonMost of the works of art found in the excavations during the Ottoman rule, unfortunately are to be found in foreign museums now. Miletus which had a very important in history, was completely destroyed by frequent raids and disasters and thus does not have too many relics left with the exception of its theatre and Faustina Baths, some of the relics left can be listed as follows.