The other half of an ancient Lycian site: Letoon

After spending the morning at Xanthos, it was a quick drive over to Letoon. We passed a few small towns along the way while avoiding farmers’ tractors. Within ten minutes we arrived in Letoon.

Going back to ancient times, Letoon was more of a religious centre then a settled area, so much of the existing ruins are temples dedicated to the gods. However, Letoon also had the Roman amphitheatre that was so common in ancient sites.

Side entrance into the amphitheatre
Looking through the entryway

From there we wandered over to the religious structures. In the main area there were various temples to Artemis, Leto and Apollo.The name Letoon comes from the goddess Leto who was a mistress of Zeus. Letoon was considered to be the official cult-centre, oracle and festival venue of Xanthos, the capital of the Lycian federation.

All quiet on a hot summer day
Except a doggy who decided to follow me
He took the high road and I took the low road
Half sunken temple remains
The Temple of Apollo was in the best condition, which wasn’t saying much
Much of the site has yet to be reconstructed

Some of the ruins at the site have were found to have inscriptions in Ancient Greek, Lycian and Aramaic. The site itself went through many periods of influence from Lycian to Greek to Roman and from pagan to Christian times.

Inscription in the remains of an early Christian church

Letoon was a smaller site than Xanthos and took less the 45 minutes to visit. With time ticking and a drive along the coast still to do, we headed to our rental car and prepared for the drive to Kas. Our time in Kas ended up being one of our highlights of our trip, and will be posted about in detail soon.

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