Tas Evi                                                           

Home page Accommodation Selçuk Nearby Photo gallery Reservations Archaeological sites

Labranda
A  well preserved site in the mountains  that can be reached on narrow roads. It is about 14kms north of Milas. It was a sacred precinct connected in ancient times to Milas by a 'Sacred Way'. A sanctuary existed on the site in 5th century B.C, dedicated to Zeus, but Mausallos initiated the planning and building of the sacred place (377-353 B.C.). He completed the north stoa, Andron B and large structures thought to be palaces alond with the large terrace wall and the steps to the east. His successor, his brother, Idrieus completed the Oikoi, and Andron A, the temple and associated terrace houses and Well House Stoa at the west of the site and the assembly of buildings , East and South Propylaia to the east through which one enters.

It is likely you will have the site to yourself, it is not frequently visited and earlier in the year much of the remains are partially obscured by grass and weeds!
South Propylaea and Sacred Way
South propylaea Steps by palace
As you climb up into the site you enter the southern propylaea, this was amonumental gateway controlling access to the sanctuary. Directly ahead is what is assumed to have been a palaceA broad stairway in good condition leads upwards from the propylaea and the Sacred Way up to the higher terraces upon which the Adrons and Temple of Zeus sit. Most of the steps are still in position. The Sacred Way, paved with blocks of marble, led eight miles from  the temple toMylasa.
Andron A , Andron B and terraced houses Andron B , terraced houses and temple terrace
Andron A Andron A

Labranda4



There are three Androns on the site
. These were meeting places for the men, being used for assemblies, banquets and informal gatherings. The androns at Labranda probably had some religious significance as well.  Andron A and B were megaron-type palaces reserved for the royal family and the adjacent 'oikoi' was asmaller house of two single rooms probably reserved for the priestess. 

Andron A, dedicated to Idrieus, has been well-restored to give some example of the other two. It is located near the temple, to the east. The andron comprised two rooms, an ante chamber and a main room, divided by a six-foot thick wall. Ten windows were part of the building's design showing that windows were used in Greek architecture. Two of these are on the dividing wall. Another obvious feature is the huge doorway. Notice the grooves in the windows for shutters, and also the high niche in the main room that extends outside the building. This was presumably of some religious character, possibly for cult statues.
Andron B or the Andron of Mausolus, is basically the same as the first. The design and size are nearly identical, differing only in the number of windows and the degree of reconstruction and preservation. The third andron next to that of Mausolus, is much smaller than the other two and not as well preserved.

Temple and terrace Not much remains of the Temple of Zeus except the foundations. Originally built in the fifth century B.C. of a simple "in antis" design consisting of a cella, a pronoas and an antae, with only two columns between the latter. A century later, the temple was redesigned as aprostylos on the foundation of the old temple by the  the brothers Idrieus and Mausolus. A colonnade of the Ionic order was erected around the temple eight columnsby six.  Thus the conversion was made for a more suiting temple to Zeus. This foundation has been fully excavated, and sections of the fluted column drums are arranged around the spot to give an idea of how the colonnade must have appeared. The dedication was made by the ruler Idrieus, according to an inscription found on the site.  
Entrances to terraced houses
Andron B The terraced houses that were probably reserved for the priests lie just below the temple of Zeus.  Another building, Doric House, is near the southern propylaea. This structure is fronted with four Doric columns, and is thought to have been a treasury. The Ablution Hall, set far below the level of the temple, Is thought to have housed the previously mentioned oracular golden fish. Quite a few of the columns of the upper storey remain in place. To the east of the temple of Zeus is the Stoa of Mausolus. 
The remaining structures are Roman in date and the East Church is of the Byzantine period.
High in the rocks, which have evidence of houses cut into them, lies a tomb. One of the best example of Labranda's many tombs are located here above the Temple of Zeus. Two inner chambers are set back from an outer forecourt. The doorways to both the forecourt and the funerary chambers were sealed with large stone slabs. Three well-preserved sarcophagi remain in the second chamber, while others were removed from the first chamber leaving only fragments to be seen.  Labranda7