The Seven Wonders Selected by the Ancient Greeks When the ancient Greeks decided to select seven wonders from the many impressive structures that had been constructed throughout history, there was a lot of argument about which structures to select. Over the years, many different lists were created. Finally, a list was presented that most Greeks agreed included the seven most wondrous wonders, each a unique achievement.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus The Temple of Artemis was first built around 800 BCE in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, on the coast of what is now modern day Turkey. The temple was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Each time, it was rebuilt more impressively than the temple before it. The first temple was destroyed around 550 BCE in a war. Years later, the temple was burnt down by a man who wanted to be remembered forever. (The town created a law that said anyone who mentioned his name would be put to death immediately.)
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus The temple was under construction (again) when some years later Alexander the Great visited the town. Alexander had seen many beautiful buildings in his travels, but this temple was so beautiful that it impressed even Alexander the Great! The town did not want to do that, but they did thank Alexander very nicely. (You would too if you were facing Alexander's army!) Alexander offered to give the town enough money to finishing building it if the townspeople would put his name on it.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus In Alexander’s time, the ornately decorated temple was 425 feet long, 225 feet wide, and 60 feet high. 127 columns supported the roof. A constant stream of visitors came to see the temple. The townspeople built shops around the temple. Some shops sold little replicas of the temple for tourists to take home. The city of Ephesus boomed for a while. But it did not last. The temple was destroyed (again) around 200 CE by the Goths.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus This time, it was not rebuilt. Construction costs had increased considerably. There was not enough money in the town treasury to rebuild the temple to its former magnificence. The remaining pieces slowly sunk in the marshy field until the ruin disappeared from sight altogether.
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus Hundreds of years later, in the 1800's, the British Museum sent a team to search for the fabled Temple of Artemis. No one had any idea where the temple used to stand. Short of digging up the whole town and the surrounding countryside, the first team found themselves rather stuck. Another team, sent out a few years later, dug up the remains of 5 temples, one built on top of the other. They believed they had found the Temple of Artemis!
The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus Today, all that remains of this incredible structure is a single column in the middle of a marshy field that marks the spot where the Temple once stood. To learn more, see these sites: Temple of Artemis The Temple of Artemis Temple of Artemis Games & Sites
Visit the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World Great Pyramid at Giza Hanging Gardens of Babylon Statue of Zeus at Olympia Temple of Artemis at Ephesus Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Colossus of Rhodes Lighthouse at Alexandria
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