Surrounded by thirty-six ionic columns, the massive temple which housed sculptures, paintings, reliefs and artwork was built throughout a span of 128 years. During this period the Amazons who were believed to have founded Ephesus relied on the temple as a center of worship as well as a place of refuge.
In 356 BC, it was deliberately destroyed by fire on the day that Alexander the Great was allegedly born. The temple would be rebuilt and destroyed again by the Goths before its most legendary version, completed in 550 BC, also came and went. Though defensively built on marshland to safeguard against earthquakes, it later succumbed to a final attack, this time from a mob of Christians in 401 AD.
Today all that survives of the remains is a pile of rubble in a swamp with one reconstructed column erected from the extant ruins to mark the unguarded site.
A somber remnant of such a hallowed monument that saw destruction, rebirth and ultimately glory— in one final phase. The Temple of Artemis quite possibly epitomizes the old teaching adage, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’