Temple of Apollo, Didyma

Temple of Apollo, Didyma

Architects Paianios of Ephesos and Daphnis of Miletos

Date begun 313 BCE

Movement Greek | Hellenistic

Located at Didyma, Turkey


Theatricality is heavily at play in this temple, allowing the visitor to experience a religious revelation as they move through the structure. Though the temple is surrounded by steps, all but the set at the structure’s facade are gradual enough to allow human entrance. A deep, porticoed porch would have mimicked the temple’s surrounding tree grove, accentuating the dramatic revelation that visitors would experience when proceeding through narrow, cavernous ramps and into the massive, open-aired court beyond. Facing back towards the entrance once inside the court, visitors would have seen a massive staircase leading to the priestesses’ quarters. Staircases leading to an upper level would have provided access for maintenance workers, and perhaps a way for actors to perform religious dramas for an audience in the court below.