It was an ancient sanctuary and seat of an oracle of Apollo. Before being plundered and burned by the Persians (494 BC), the sanctuary was in the charge of the Branchids, a priestly caste named after Branchus, a favorite youth of Apollo. The astonishing temple (🎫 50 TRY) was once the ancient world’s second largest with 122 columns. After Alexander the Great conquered Miletus (334), the oracle was resanctified. The city administered the cult and annually elected a prophet. About 300 BC the Milesians began to build a new temple, intended to be the largest in the Greek world. The annual festival held there, the Didymeia, became Panhellenic at the beginning of the 2nd century BC. Excavations made between 1905 and 1930 revealed all of the uncompleted new temple and some carved pieces of the earlier temple and statues. Though the site is largely in ruins, its scale is still breathtaking and two original pillars remain on site.
Parking location – Didim: 37.385028N 27.253791E