Letoon

23rd, 2012
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On the Fethiye-Kalkan road, two kilometres before you come to Kınık, there is the signpost for the ancient city ofLetoon. It is also19 kilometresbefore Kalkan. Letoon is four kilometres further once you take the turn onto the road in the middle of the greenhouses. You can go to the entrance of the historical site by car. The traces of the settlement in the ancient city ofLetoonhave been dated to the 7th century BC. The ruins and the finds show that this was a political and religious site. Letoon was the joint temple of the Lycian Union.

There is a legend recalled by the poet Ovidius, which tells that the Goddess Leto, who was pregnant with twin gods Apollon and Artemis to the God Zeus gave birth to them inDelos. Then she went to theXanthosRiver(now the Eşen Stream) and walked all the way to the mouth of the river. The Goddess wanted to wash her children in the mouth of the river but was prevented from doing so by the locals. She got furious at this and, by way of revenge, turned all the locals into frogs. This is why thetempleofLetois sited where the incident is supposed to have taken place.

The other two temples in the ancient city were built for Artemis and Apollon. However, today only the bases of all three temples remain. They are lying under the water that keeps seeping up and never seem to disappear. On the top of the columns of the temples frogs and the turtles lie sunbathing. Could they not be the descendants of the people the Goddess Leto turned into frogs?

The Lycian city ofLetoonwas abandoned after the 7th century once it has                      lost its importance.

To the south west of the temples there is a fountain and to the east a Byzantine church. To the north of the archaeological site is a stoa and at the backside of the city, partly leaning against the natural hill, is a Roman theatre, which is in good condition.

Do not leave the site if you have the time go to the seaside. Just as in the case of Patara, Letoon suffers from sand-dune problems and, in order to prevent sand getting to the greenhouse areas, the two kilometres deep and eight kilometres long beach of Letoon has been planted with sand acacia and mimosa trees. The tree planting in the area began in the 1960s. Go through the trees and continue on the sand road that takes you to the sea. Letoon is a part of the 18 kilometres long Patara Beach. It has the same characteristics of Patara Beach. However, around it there is not one restaurant, café or pension. Be ready for this if you are going there for a picnic.

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