The Temple of Artemis and the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World

Temple of Artemis

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the supposed Wonders of the World. A few years ago, after a worldwide voting process, the Seven NEW Wonders of the World were chosen. This in turn created a lot of renewed interest, spawned a TV show, An Idiot Abroad, and now the Wonders of the Natural World are being selected. While I’m always in favor of anything that gets people excited about traveling, I don’t agree with all of the winners of the New Seven Wonders of the World and instead, want to look back at what started it all, the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.

The Wonders refer to seven of the greatest feats of construction from antiquity, information of which has been handed down thanks to the preservation of the Ancient Greek’s version of travel guides. The Wonders are:

  1. Great Pyramid of Giza
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  3. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  4. Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  5. Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
  6. Colossus of Rhodes
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria

Of these, the only one still intact is the Great Pyramid at Giza, but there are remnants of some of the others. I have a deep love of ancient history; learning about the remarkable feats from antiquity has always fascinated me. That’s why when I learned that I had the chance to visit the site of one of the Ancient Wonders, I jumped at the opportunity.


Located near the ancient city of Ephesus and the modern port city of Kusadasi, Turkey, the remnants of the Temple of Artemis can still be seen today. We left Kusadasi early in the morning, and the first stop on our tour of the area was at the Temple. We hopped out of the van, walked down to a large, grassy area and were met with, not much.

All that remains of the once massive building are a few stones and a large pillar, one of the many that once held up this ancient edifice. According to lore, the Temple was destroyed by arson and what was once one of the most grand temples in the world was lost forever.

As I walked around, I marveled at the site, not for what was left, but for the fascination it has held for tourists for millennia. I was part of a long chain of tourists, dating back to ancient times, that made the arduous trek to this very site to witness the splendor contained within. Today, it is more about paying respects to an advanced civilization than it is about splendor, but it is still a remarkable experience.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

5 Responses

  1. Mihir

    Hi Matt, in October ’10, I went a week-long whirlwind tour of all the places in Turkey you’ve mentioned. It was a wonderful experience indeed. One of my friends loves organizing trips on a budget, and here I was happy to just go along with the flow.He would heartily agree on the idea of travelling the world without spending a fortune! If you do get the chance to visit Turkey again, I’d definitely recommend Cappadocia. Its a stunning place, if you like you can check out some of the photos on my blog thefrangipaniblooms.blogspot.com
    Cheers

    Reply
  2. Connie

    I’ve had the luck of living in Turkey for a year and I couldn’t get enough of the ancient history and ruins there. It’s such a shame that not much is left of these once magnificent places. I think part of the interest that lies with such ancient sites is the fact that they no longer remain. Perhaps if we are able to see them in all their original glory, it wouldn’t leave the same impression that a lone, partial column might.

    Reply
  3. Andrew

    That is definitely on my list when we go to Turkey. What kind of tour did you do? Mentioning van and not bus makes it sound like something with fewer tourists.

    Reply
  4. Natalie - Turkish Travel

    It is a shame there is not much left, however I find that after visiting and experience the awe of Ephesus, not much else in Turkey has even come close.

    Reply

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