This Propylaeum, which in Greek means "before the gate", was part of the grand and monumental approach to the Temple of Artemis that began on the east bank of the wadi. Worshippers would cross a bridge and then encounter this magnificent gateway. Its four colossal columns were aligned with the colonnades of the Cardo and the entryway was richly decorated and comprised three openings. Behind there is a stairway leading upwards, which is more than 30 meters wide and breaks at a terrace.
The approach to the temple and its sanctuary would have been quite awe-inspiring. It is perched on a hill at the center of the town, at a tangent to the Cardo. Looking up from the bottom, worshippers would not yet be able to see the temple. To reach it they would undertake a grand ascent, which began at the Cardo facing a monumental propylaeum, or entryway. Beyond this was a large flight of steps that widened at the next level. At the end of the steps was a portico with beautifully decorated columns and facade and beyond this gate lay the courtyard and the Temple of Artemis.
The construction of this impressive group of monuments took advantage of the steep slope they were built on, creating a majestic and breathtaking rise towards the temple. It is an outstanding example of monumental architecture from the 2nd century AD.
(From information on site)
© Photo: Haupt & Binder