The Temple of Artemis was reckoned by Antipater of Sidon, the Greek poet, to be the finest of the ancient wonders. He wrote: “When I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, ‘Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand’.” After being destroyed twice, by floods and arson, the third – and greatest – incarnation began in 323BC. It survived until 268AD, when it was damaged or destroyed during a Goth raid. The site of the temple was rediscovered in 1869, and fragments of it can be found in the British Museum. Ephesus was given World Heritage Site status in 2014.
The modern alternative? Among the world’s most striking modern temples are Chiang Rai’s impossibly intricate Wat Rong Khun, opened in 1997; Harmandir Sahib, or the “Golden Temple”, completed in Amritsar in 1604; Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto; the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (its full name – Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família – is a bit of a mouthful); and the Lotus Temple in New Delhi, a place of worship of the Bahá’í faith built in 1986, which has won numerous architectural awards.
Categories: Origin Of Things