Letoon Lycian Ruins

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Letoon Lycian Ruins Turkey

Was the religious centre of the Lycian federation. It was also the centre of pagan cult activity until around about the 5th century when the Arabs ravaged Lycia. It was named after the Goddess Leto who was the mother of Artemis and Apollo. There are several stories about this place and Leto. Some would say that after she was chased away by the goddess Hera who was angry that her brother Zeus was in love with her, LetLetoon religious centre of the Lycian federationo was helped by wolves to find the Xanthos River and to show her gratitude she named the country Lycia, (wolf in Greek means Lykos). Another story is that she turned the local people into frogs after she was not allowed to drink from their fountain. Yet another version of this story is that they would not allow her children to bathe in the thermal waters. It is also believed to be the place where Alexander the Great received a prophecy telling him of the destruction of the mighty Persian Empire. Although now partly submerged and not as appealing as others it does still have some charm and is a home to many frogs and terrapins (perhaps the stories are true). There are 3 temples; the first temple dedicated to Leto dates back to 400(BC) and has 6 columns at the front and back with 11colums on the sides. Next to it is a smaller temple dedicated to Artemis which is believed to be the oldest one on this site. Also there is the temple of Apollo which has a beautiful mosaic floor and an interesting theatre which has 16 masks above the entrance as well as a large Amphitheatre, Nymphaeum, (possibly the first monument to Leto) and a fountain.

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