Located 4 km / 2,5miles away from Xanthos, Letôon was the religious center of the Lycian League where three temples, placed side by side, were erected. The first of these, constructed at the end of the 5 C BC in Ionic order, was dedicated to Leto, the mother of the twins Apollo and Artemis. The second temple was dedicated to Artemis whose cult is considered a continuation of the Cybele cult under a new name (her mother Leto merged with Anatolian mother-goddess Cybele). The third temple, constructed in Doric order, was dedicated to Apollo. To the south and west of the main temple is a large nympheaum connected to the sacred spring. A rectangular building, dating from the time of Hadrian (117 – 130 AD), is bordered by a large semicircular paved pool flanked on the north by two semicircular exedrae. Most of it is now permanently flooded. Part of the nympheaum was later overlaid by a church. There is also a stoa and a Hellenistic theatre.
Fragments of architecture from the temples and the nympheaum, as well as a trilingual stele bearing inscriptions in Greek, Lycian and Aramaic are displayed in the Fethiye museum. This inscription dates back to 358 BC and refers to a decree made by Pixodares, the satrap of Caria and Lycia.
This site illustrates the union of Lycian traditions and Hellenic influence, especially in the representation of funarary art. The epigraphic inscriptions are crucial in the understanding of the Indo-European language and the history of the Lycian people.
Both Xanthos and Letôon have been declared by UNESCO to be one of the Eminent Heritage of the World.XANTHOS
The ancient Lycian city is located near the village of Kinik on a hillside in a gorgious natural site overlooking the Esen river. Xanthos long remained independent until it was taken by the Persians: according to Herodotus, the warriors of Xanthos showed an extreme bravery killing their wives, children and slaves entrenched in the burning citadel. They themselves fought to death . Only a few families that were away, survived. The city was completly burnt down between 475 and 450 BC. During excavations this was confirmed by a thick layer of ash covering the site. Rebuilt and repopulated, Xanthos, along with Pinara, Patara and other cities, surrendered to Alexander the Great. The city, which came to the hands of Antigonus, was claimed by Ptolemy I who took it from him by force in 309 BC.
In 197 BC, Antiochus III , who wanted to take Lycia from the Ptolemies, made an agreement with the Xanthians, declaring the city free and dedicating it to Leto, Apollo and Artemis. After Antiochus’ defeat at Magnesia of Sypile, and because of their support to her, Rome gave Xanthos to the Rhodians. Complaining that they were treated like slaves, the Xanthians revolted many times so that Rome finally put an end to the Rhodien domination in 167 BC. During the Roman civil wars of the 1st century BC, the Lycians sided with Caesar against Pompeius.