Letoon: Journey to History

Updated: 17.02.2023 16:00:00
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Letoon Turkey is one of the most notable historical sites in the world, especially when ancient civilizations are in question. The country is home to dozens of the most civilized ancient civilizations, which have a great contribution to the history of mankind.

Without a doubt, Lycians are one of the most notable ones among these ancient civilizations. Letoon is also the most notable ancient city among all Lycians cities. It is because this historical site used to be the religious center of civilization. If you are interested in history or ancient cities, then you need to visit this beautiful site before you leave Turkey.

Therefore, we have compiled this quick Letoon guide for our visitors. Needless to say, you can find plenty of holiday villas to rent around the area. For this purpose, you can always visit our homepage. Now, let’s take a look at our guide, which includes valuable information you need to know to visit the area

Where Was the Ancient City of Letoon?

Letoon was the religious center of Lycia in ancient times, and it is right next to the Kumluova Village located within the borders of the Fethiye District of Muğla city. Because of its function in the past, it is also known as Letoon Sanctuary place, where you can pay a visit and see this sanctuary with your bare eyes.

This area served as the place where the ruling team of the civilization made their religious and political decisions public. According to a legend, the area was established in the name of Leto, who became pregnant by Zeus. Another great feature of this ancient city is it is only seven kilometers away from Xanthos Ancient City, which is another very important city for Lycians.

Moreover, both cities are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list together and life in the city dates back to the seventh century before Christ.

The History of Letoon

Letoon Ancient City dates back to the 7th century BC but the area left to its destiny after the 7th century AD as well. The area transformed into a cult center of the Roman Empire under the reign of the emperor Hadrian. During the Lycian period, the area was one of the most important settlements in the region as well. Today, you can see many beautiful ruins and remaining in the area during your visit. However, information regarding the area is very limited in historical records.

On the other hand, according to the legends, Zeus' titan lover Leto became pregnant, and his wife Hera was very angry at this news. As a result, Leto had to escape from Hera, which ended up with her moving to Mount Cynthus on Delos Island, an island near Mykonos Island. Here, she gave birth to her twins Artemis and Apollo.

Later, Leto had to go on running away from Hera and she followed the Xanthos River, which is known as the Eşen River today. Here, she turned everyone into frogs, when people in the area wanted to prevent her from washing her children in the water and Leto Temple was built here.

letoon ancient city

How to Get to Letoon?

If you are going to visit Letoon Ancient City while in Fethiye or neighboring areas, you do not have to worry about the trip at all. Getting to Letoon is pretty straightforward. The historical site is located near Kumluova Village, which is on the way to Fethiye – Kaş Highway.

Visitors can prefer private tours or renting their own car. However, if you would like to prefer public transportation, you can find minibuses and buses departing from Kumluova Village. Moreover, you can easily get to Kumluova by the same means from Kaş or Fethiye.

What Can You Do in Letoon?

The most notable sites you can visit in Letoon Turkey are three temples located next to each other in the center of the ruins. These are the temples of Leto, Artemis, and Apollon. The one on the northern side belongs to Leto and the one on the southern side belongs to Apollon. The one in the middle was built to honor Artemis.

We would like to note that Leto Temple is one of the most well-preserved temples in the world. You can also find other important ruins, which are well-preserved today. These include monumental fountain buildings, sacred road, Hellenistic Period theater, and some churches.

The water available in the area is believed to be sacred since ancient times. Even today, women who cannot have babies often visit the area to drink from this sacred water by believing in a miracle.