Letoon Ancient City

Date of Admission to UNESCO World Heritage List: 1988

List Sequence No: 484

Category: Cultural Heritage

The bird flight from Xanthos is about 5km southwest. It takes its name from Leto, the mother of god Apollo and goddess Artemis. According to the Lycia belief, Leto has come to these clumps since the exact date is unknown, and Leto has been considered the mother goddess. While Xanthos is the political center, Letoon is the faith center of the Lycian Union. The city is built on a water source.

This water source is also mentioned in the founding legend of the city. According to this legend, the goddess Leto gives birth to her twin children Apollon and Artemis, who are from the god Zeus, on an island in the Aegean Sea.
She escapes the wrath of Zeus’ wife Hera and comes to Anatolia. When she reaches the point where Letoon Ancient City is located today, she wants to wash his children in the water here. But the people who are afraid of the goddess
Hera do not want Leto here. Leto gets angry and turns the people of the region into frogs.

Letoon Ancient City

The oldest building in the city is dated to the 7th century BC. The section with the water source was renovated in the classical age (4 century BC) during the reign of King Arbinas and 3 temples were built, these temples were dedicated to Leto and his children Artemis and Apollo. Most of the buildings in the city were found in 1962 excavations. As a result of the excavation, they found out theatre was built in 2nd century B.C.