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Temple of Artemis (Artemision)

One of the Seven Wonders of the World in ancient times, the Temple of Artemis (Artemision) at Ephesus was a famous place of pilgrimage for centuries.

Anatolia has always had a fertility goddessMita to the PhrygiansCybele (or Kybele) to many other Anatolian peoples, Artemis to the Greeks and Diana to the Romans.

There's not a lot to see, but it's worth dropping in at the Artemision ruins on the 3-km (2-mile, 30-minute) walk from Selçuk to the Ephesus archeological site along shady Dr Sabri Yayla Boulevard (map).

Imagine a vast marble temple with lissome sacred maidens doing ancient belly dances....

Unfortunately little remains of the vast, rich marble temple: only a few bits of marble column favored by the storks who arrive in the nearby town of Selçuk each spring.

When St Paul gave his famous sermon in the Great Theater at Ephesus, he was accused by the city's silversmiths of being disrespectful to Artemis.

Actually, they were upset because St Paul's efforts to win converts to Christianity were making it more difficult to sell silver statuettes of Artemis to visiting pilgrims. Paul ruined their business, so they eventually succeeded in driving him out of Ephesus.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Artemision (Temple of Artemis), Selçuk (Ephesus), Turkey

The few remaining bits of the Artemision, with stork in residence atop the tall column. In the background, Selçuk's St John Basilica.

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