Didim 173 km (107 mile) far to Aydin. The town of Didim is one of the prettiest in Turkey’s southwestern province of Aydin. As you enter the seaside town an imposing monument can be seen rising towards the clouds like a mountain peak. This is the Temple of Apollo, a god with Anatolian roots associated with light, music and prophecy. He was the twin brother of Artemis, a fact commemorated by the name Didyma, which means twin. According to legend the Temple of Apollo was founded by Branchos, a handsome youth from Miletus. Apollo taught him the secrets of prophecy and appointed him to guard the sacred grove of laurel trees. Here Branchos built a sanctuary, and for long years first he and then his descendants served as its priests and guardians, known as Branchids, which is why Didyma has also been called Branchidai.Archaeological findings have shown that the cult of Apollo goes back to 2000 BC in Didyma, and the temple appears to have been built in the 7th centuryBC. By the 6th century it had become one of the most important oracular centres in the world. It was at this time that the city became known as Branchidai.

Every year in April and May festivities in celebration of Apollo were held, during which a ceremonial procession set out from Miletus and travelled the sacred road. The journey took four days, halting each night, and during the day those in the procession sung hymns as they walked. When the procession arrived at the temple a great ceremony was held. The steps on the south side of the temple served as seats for the onlookers to watch athletic competitions held in the name of Apollo in the open area in front of the temple. The bronze statue of Apollo, which was a gift to the temple from the city of Miletus, is depicted on the coins of that city.

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