Labraunda

TR / FR

 

Labraunda is worth a visit not only because of its well-preserved ruins and beautiful location and for the splendid panorama view it offers, but also because it is unique in several respects. It is unusual to find an ancient sanctuary, which, after its heyday, remained almost unchanged until the end of Antiquity. It is therefore still possible to imagine what the sanctuary looked like in the 4th century BC, its most important period.

This solitary place was a pilgrim sanctuary and the sacred centre for the ancient Karians, who once a year came here by foot to sacrifice at the altar, to compete in races at the stadion or to watch the games, and to feast and celebrate all over the place at what was probably a five-day-long festival in honor of their god.

Labraunda has two unique buildings for sacrificial feasts, the so-called andrones, “men’s halls”. One of them still stands to a height of 8 meters. At other sanctuaries there is nothing like these spacious dining halls with their large windows looking towards the valley. Here the most important participants in the feast, possibly some 40 people in each of them, reclined on couches along the walls, where they ate and drank and at night slept. Other important people, perhaps more than 100 of them, had their meals in six dining rooms in a stoa at the eastern border of the shrine. These extraordinary dining facilities at Labraunda are unparalleled at other ancient shrines.

The nearest town to Labraunda is Milas (ca 200 km from Izmir and 46 km from Bodrum, on the Izmir – Bodrum highway). The little road to Labraunda branches off to the north just north-west of Milas. The distance from Milas is ca 14 km. When you have passed through the little village of Kargıcak after 8 km, the road starts climbing; Labraunda is at ca. 700 meters above sea level. An asphalt road takes you there, but it is narrow and partly damaged by the heavy traffic of lorries bringing feldspar from quarries near the site down to the coast at Güllük. There are plans for a new highway across the mountain from Milas to Aydın, which in the future will make it more comfortable to reach the site.