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Dick Osseman | profile | all galleries >> Milas Turkey >> Herakleia at the Latmos tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Bešin near Milas | Euromos near Milas | Herakleia at the Latmos | Iasos near Milas | Labranda near Milas

Herakleia at the Latmos

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Herakleia at the Latmos this is a town that was founded in the 5th century BC as a Carian settlement. In the 4th century it fell came under the rule of Halikarnassos. King Mausolos (377-535 BC) took the city with subterfuge and turned it into a stong fortress, guarding the north of his kingdom. The city was at that time situated at the south-eastern corner of the Latmic Sea (as were Miletus and Priene) which itself connected to the Aegean Sea. This connection was lost due to silt from the Meander in the 4th century AD, and a lake of 15 x 7 kilometres was formed, now called Lake Bafa after a small town on the Milas-Söke road. Behind it rises the Five Fingered Mountain to 1367 metres, part of the Lamos Range. The Greeks thought this is where Zeus fell in love with cute Endymion. The latter had already had an affair with Zeus’ wife Hera. As a way out of this predicament Endymion wished for eternal youth as well as to be put into an eternal sleep. Zeus granted this, and from then on Endymion was visited each night by the Moon goddess Selene, who took a look at him in a grotto, covering him with kisses (and getting 50 daughters in the process. He had another “grave” in Olympia. Christians looked upon him as a mystic who heard Gods name from the Moon, then died. They opened his grave each year to gaze at the bones. That may be one reason why in Byzantine times the Latmos mountains were popular with monks. On the four islands in the lake there are the remains of several monasteries.

I walked from Bafa to Herakleia and back, taking many pictures on the way. The town is now housing a modern village, which in itself is a pleasant spot to visit.

I put the pictures up now and will add some comments in the days to come.
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