Didyma: Very Impressive!

Trip Start Feb 08, 2008
Trip End Sep 11, 2009

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Flag of Turkey  , Turkish Aegean Coast,
Saturday, March 7, 2009

Alas, I have not much to say about Didyma, or Didim. This may be sparing. It's also one of the results of relying on a laptop to record one's rounds, rather than the handwritten journal.

As for Didyma, there is not much to say. The Temple of Apollo is surrounded by "modern" urbanization. This site offers none of the ranging hiking opportunities of many of my other visits elsewhere. One just goes there on a bus. In my case, the Turkish public transport system, not a canned tour. So at least I can take my own time poking into every crevice of the place. Literally, as some pictures show.

As the Lonely Planet Turkey guide puts it, "...the ancient Didyma was never a real town; only the priests who specialized in oracular temple management lived here." As a site of pilgrimage there was a sacred way to Didyma from Miletus, with commercial establishments crowding the last meters to the place. Just like today's pilgrimage sites of any religion you can name.

But make no mistake, the Temple of Apollo at Didyma is without a doubt one of the most impressive sights of the ancient world. Too bad there is so little of it. Though that can concentrate one's attention. I loved the detailing of the place. Prosaic as it is, I become almost mesmerized by things like the seams between the marble blocks of the walls. I mean, think of it, these seam joints are absolutely unperturbed through thousands of years of earthquakes!

The lasting beauty of the place put me in mind of my aggravation at so much of modern Turkish workmanship, which seems unconsciously governed by the attitude of "Oh, that's good enough for now."

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