Temple of Artemis (Artemision)
Commissioned by Croesus, the Lydian king who gave the world the phrase “rich as Croesus”, the Temple of Artemis was famed for its spectacular art—but invading Goths destroyed it during the third century AD and it was never rebuilt. Most travelers pay their respects to the remains of the temple on their way to or from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ephesus and some add the House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi). Kusadasi is the most popular jump-off point for cruisers and overland travelers alike, but tours run from Bodrum, Izmir, and much of the Turkish Riviera.
Recent reviews from experiences in Selçuk
Things to know before you go
- Photographers can get a good view of the pillar from the south. It’s particularly photo-worthy when storks are nesting.
- Artemis was a popular fertility goddess and there are temples to her across Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East. Be sure to book the right one.
- There’s no charge to visit the remains of the Temple of Artemis.
- The site of the temple is overgrown and unsuitable for either wheelchairs or strollers.
How to get there
The remains of the Temple of Artemis sit just east of the town of Selcuk, about a 2-mile (3-kilometer) walk from the center of ancient Ephesus. The area lies inland from the Turkish Riviera, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) drive northeast of the Kusadasi cruise port and resort, and around a 1-hour drive south of Izmir.
When to get there
As there’s relatively little to see at the Temple of Artemis, time your visit around the lines at Ephesus, which is much busier. Be aware that the site can flood during spring (late March to early May).
Introducing Ancient Ephesus
Christians know Ephesus as the site of an early faith community, founded by St. John and tended by St. Paul, whose Letter to the Ephesians forms part of the New Testament. But the UNESCO-listed ruins are one of Turkey’s most spectacular ancient sights. Highlights include the 2-story facade of the Library of Celsus, the Terrace Houses, with their vibrant mosaics and frescoes, and the Public Latrine, which provides an eye-opening insight into daily life.
- Isa Bey Mosque (Isa Bey Camii)
- Ephesus (Efes)
- Basilica of St. John
- Fountain of Trajan
- Temple of Hadrian at Ephesus
- Public Latrine at Ephesus
- Temple of Domitian (Temple of the Sebastoi)
- Library of Celsus
- Ephesus Terrace Houses
- House of the Virgin Mary (Meryem Ana Evi)
- Aqua Fantasy Aquapark
- Adaland Aquapark
- Baths of Varius