Distance 85 km; Duration 1 hour 30 minutes
Follow the road via Bodrum to Milas and take there the road to Söke/Izmir. Before you leave Milas, you`ll find a turn to right in direction "Labranda ". 14 km later you´ll find on the left side the entrance to this old sanctuary place.
Labranda was the sanctuary of Zeus Labrandos.
The earliest ruins are from 6 th. century B.C. At that time and in the 5th. century the sanctuary was a small artificially levelled plane that was used as the terrace of the temple.
It was a place of a great battle, too. In 497 the Carian army together with its Miletian allies was defeated by the Persians.
In the 4th. century B.C. the temple gained prominence. During the reign of King Mausolos (377 - 352 B.C.)
an Idreus (351 - 344 B.C.) as satraps of Persia its appearance was enhanced.
It is said that during an annual sacrificial feast, Mausolos was saved from an assasinational attempt at the last minute.
To celebrate this, a number of artificial terraces, a small Doric building, a monumental stairway, two large feast-halls (Androns), a building with a porch (Oikoi), a Stoa and a colonated
temple of Zeus were erected.
Upon the death of Indreus in 344 B.C. all the constructional works ceased.
After a great fire in the 4th. century A.C. the sanctuary was no longer used as a center of cult.
Andron A, you see on the photo probably was built by King Idreus (351 - 344 B.C.). Its white marble front was 10 m wide and 12 m high had 2 Ionic columns and a Doric frieze with triglyphs. Inside, in former times, there were couches along the walls for sacred meals and in the niche at the backside there might have been statues of King Idreus, his wife Ada and god Zeus Labrandos.
There`s a famous spring in Labranda, too. You`ll find the spring house with its source of excellent clear water under a big split rock.
May be, that the center of the earliest cult of Zeus Labrandos was situated at this place. There are about 32 simular spring houses like this in the area of Labrandos and the ancient road to Mylasa (Milas) that may be built in the 4th century A.C.
And if you buy spring water today in a shop, you may receive water from Labranda. It`s really fine!
Climb up the hill from the spring house to the left side of the split rock. There you will find a big built tomb of the 4th. century B.C.
Inside, there are 5 stone coffins and the chamber has a false, corbelled vault. Some Doric architectural blocks from the superstructure are arranged in the slope.
Unfortunatelly the owner is not known. But it`s really worth seeing!