Didyma is today best known as a holiday center, but it actually takes its name from one of the greatest centers of knowledge of the ancient world, which is the Temple of Apollo with its famous oracle. The original temple was destroyed by the Persians but on the orders of Alexander the Great, and with his financial help, an even bigger temple was started.
After 600 years it still wasn’t finished due mostly to industrial disputes or strikes amongst the workers. Because of this, there was many a hitch in the quarrying, transportation, and carving of up to 70,000 kg of marble which make up the temple.
Still, the temple is one of the most superb architectural creations of the ancient world. The 122 marble columns, each 20 meters in height and more than 3 meters in diameter, were brought in from Herakleia 40 kilometers away. If the temple had ever been finished it would have become the seventh wonder of the ancient world, but the rise of Christianity meant that there was no need for such a center of pagan learning.