Letoon

Temple ofLetoo

Letoon

Temple of Leto

Letoon

Temple of Artemis, the temple surrounds the rocks, hiding its secret why the rocks were kept in the temple. We may guess that the rocks were believed sacred.

Letoon

"The cult of Apollo was based on that of an Anatolian god and was initiated in Patara" says İlhan Akşit, archaelogist. Letoon was the sacred cult center of Lycia. Three temples that belong to Mother Goddess Leto, her son Apollo and daughter Artemis are together.Lycians had not touched the rocks in Artemis Temple, instead they built the temple on the rocks, which were believed sacred most likely. Turkish poet Azra Erhat popularized the idea that Lycian gods and eventually Greek gods were developed from the religious culture of Hittites. The idea is supported by many academicians, including İlhan Akşit as well as Cevat Şakir Kabaağaç or widely known as Fisherman of Halicarnassus. Similarly, Artemis has been considered a continuation of the Cybele (Kibele, also Kubaba) cult. It is accepted that Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis, was Anatolian and that she merged with Kibele. Nymphaeum completes the center as Lycian believers had founded all religious aspects of the ancient Lycian time.

 

Letoon

Letoon

The oil painting at right side is worked by Canan who is the owner of Villa Lycia Sun, and it illustrates the three Letoon Temples in past when they were still intact.

 

 

 

The biggest temple belonged to Leto. The second one is Artemis temple as an inscription cut into the rock north of the temples refers to Artemis in the Lycian language as Ertemit. This temple ironically keeps the rocks untouched. The third one belonged to Apollo as the mosaic (see the picture herein above) shows the bow and quiver of Artemis and the lyre of Apollo.

Letoon also had a stoa and a theatre. Archaelogists know that a stadium had also existed yet to be uncovered.

Letoon and Xanthos are very close to each other. If you wish to make trip for these invaluable ancient cities, Letoon-Xanthos-Patara trip on the same day gives you a good opportunity to feel the Lycian life.

At the end of the day, you may sun bath on the endless sand dunes of Patara beach and swim in the wavy waters.


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