Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Ephesus was an ancient city near the modern Turkish city of Selçuk, about 50 km south of Izmir. According to archaeological analysis, It was here that the Temple of Artemis was built and rebuilt in three phases. In the 8th century BC, a typical Greek temple was built with multiple columns. This was destroyed by a flood in the 7th century BC, a harbinger of the silt build up that eventually ruined Ephesus harbor and doomed the city. In phase two, about 550 BC, the Cretan architect Chersiphron and his son Metagenes built a marble temple about 115m long and 46m wide again festooned with multiple columns some 13m high. The arsonist Herostratus, seeking notoriety, burned the temple down in 356 BC. Herostratus was executed and the Ephesians forbade mentioning his name, but the ancient historian Theopompus recorded the event for posterity. (we use the term herostratic fame to signify someone who commits a crime to become famous). In phase three, the Ephesians rebuilt the temple starting in 323 BC. This last temple was larger -- 137m long by 69m wide and 18m high with more than 127 columns.

This last temple lasted until 268 AD, when the Goths damaged it severely during one of their raids. It fell into disrepair and some of the stones were removed in construction of other buildings, such as Hagia Sophia in modern day Istanbul. Earthquakes and silt build up eventually led to the burial of the temple. The site of the temple was rediscovered by archeologists in 1869 and excavations continued into the early 20th century. Today, there remains a single restored column plus a few stone fragments.

In the Greek hierarchy of the gods, Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo. She was the virgin lady of Wild Things and huntsman to the gods. Although she was worshipped throughout the Greek world with temples, statues, and festivals, the Ephesians considered her one of their own.    Link.