Columns of 2,300-year-old temple to be restored
A restoration and repair work has been launched to strengthen the three columns with a length of 20 meters in the Temple of Apollo, located in Turkey’s Aegean province of Aydın’s Didim district.
The excavation and restoration work around the historical marvel, which is shown as one of the best-preserved temples in Anatolia, was suspended for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having been the excavation director for 12 years and an academic from Berlin Halle University, Helga Bümke, told reporters in the temple area that a two-month restoration effort has been scheduled for this year.
Stating that they have been excavating and restoring different points in the temple in the past years, Bümke emphasized that slight cracks were detected at the heads of 2,300-year-old columns during the examinations.
“We will restore the standing columns. In this sense, we want them to be able to stand for another 2,300 years,” Bümke said.
Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Umut Tuncer stated that the Temple of Apollo, which welcomes approximately 100,000 visitors a year, was one of the most important tourism destinations of Turkey.
Noting that the visitors can continue to visit the temple while the restoration is being done, Tuncer added that the work on the three columns would be completed in about two months.
The site was completely unearthed and partially reerected with the archaeological excavations carried out between 1906-1913.
The temple served as the oracle center of important cities such as Ephesus and Priene, which formed the city-states of Ionia. Although its construction was started in 560 B.C., it was never finished.