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Oracle of Apollo

Sura, Turkey

Sura is not large, but an intriguing place. The original layout and the functions can be hard to see from the few remaining structures out here in what now is a rugged countryside.
Sura was the home of an oracle of Apollo, which was popular far across the ancient world. Sura was not a city, only priests lived here permanently. Their residence now remains only as a rock-cut terrace, while pilgrims could stay in a 12 chamber keep. The oracle rituals were acted out in the Temple of Apollo Surios and in its nearby spring. The spring still flows.
Rituals at the place is well described by ancient writers. Pilgrims were expected to present roasted meat to the priests. The meat is told to have been thrown into the sand, most likely a well, where fish were attracted by the food. From the movements of the fish, predictions were read.
In the 4th century, Christianity replaced the old religion, and two Byzantine churches can be seen close to the more ancient oracle complex.
The place is little visited and there is a fair chance that you will it all to yourself.

Sura, Turkey

There are no nearby services here. Nearest options are Demre 10 km east and Finike 40 km east. The area is not fenced in, and there is no entrance fee.

Interesting nearby (open map)
Less than 5 km east lies Andriake, an archaeological site of the same era as Sura, but with entirely different function. More archaeology is within short distance, the beautiful triangle of Teimiussa (Üçağız), Simona (Kale) and Kekova Island is to the west, about 15 km away.
The most impressive site is still Myra, 20 km northeast.

By Tore Kjeilen