Claros: The City of Soothsayers in Ancient Ionia

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Claros, one of the twelve Ionic cities, is a city that served as a prophecy center from foundation until its abandonment. It’s called Sanctuary of Apollo Claros and Turkey’s first ArchaeoPark.

There are 12 independent coastal cities within the borders of the Ionian region: Chios, Chios, Samos, Ephesus, Phokaia (Foca), Miletus, Milos, Klazomenai, Kolophon, Teos, Priene, Erythrae, Lebedos, Mydnos Ancient Cities.

This city is belong to Colophon, one of the two important prophecy centers of God Apollo in Anatolia. Claros was founded as an important sanctuary and prophecy center of Colophon.

According to legend, Alexander the Great conquered Smyrna and then fell asleep on Pagos Hill (Kadifekale). In his dream, the gods of Nemesis told Alexander the Great to establish a city where he slept. Thereupon, Alexander applied to Klaros for the interpretation of his dream. This shows the importance of the city in terms of prophecy.

Sanctuary of Apollo Claros

Claros consisted of the temple and oracle of Apollo. The Temple of Apollo in here has been of great importance as the center of prophecy. The Temple of Apollo Clarios, dedicated to God Apollo, is known as the only dor temple established in Ionia during the Hellenistic Period.

Oracle of Apollo, known locally as Apollo Clarius, had the significance similar to the ones in Delphi and Didyma during the ancient period.

 

This sacred area is a place where many animals are sacrificed at the same time for the Apollo. The hekatomb found in the Sanctuary of Claros is one of the first archaeological evidence of this animal ritual.

This Hekatomb (a hundred animal binding blocks) is the only work in the world found in a sanctuary. Hecatomb is defined as the tradition of sacrificing one hundred animals in ancient times.

Claros has never been an independent city in its history, it has developed continuously under Colophon and has continued to exist in this way.

History of Claros

It is believed that the inhabitants of Colophon built this city as a temple site for Apollo, in the 7th to 6th centuries B.C.  The temple began to be built at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. At the end of the 2nd century BC it was known that the crepe, pronaos, naos and monumental cult sculptures of the temple were completed. 

Location of Claros

Claros was an Ionian city.

Iyonya is an area located on the western coast of today's Anatolian lands and covering the present provinces of İzmir and Aydın. This ancient region, which also includes the islands of Chios and Samos, is bordered by Gediz River (Hermes) from the north, Tekağaç (Poseidon) Cape to the south, Aegean Sea to the west and Belkahve Mevkii to the east.

Klaros is located 13 kilometers south of ancient city of Kolophon and 2 kilometres north of Notion and 18 km west of Ephesus. It is located in Özdere Town of Menderes District in Izmir Province.

It is about 70 km from Izmir.

Monuments in City

Excavation of these ruins is in progress by the Aegean University.

In this sacred area (temenos) there is the Temple of Apollo. This temple is the only building that built in in the Doric style in Ionia with 6x columns. In addition, the Sanctuary of Claros is one of the rare sanctuaries of the monumental Apollon, Artemis and Leto statues.

The Temple of Apollo, was known throughout the world for its soothsayers. It believed to have secret powers.

The Statue of Apollo on top of the sacred room is 7.5 m. tall. There is a monumental altar (Altar of Apollo) 27 meters east from the front of the temple .

Opening/Closing Time

The site is open to visitors.
April 1 – October 1: Summer Visit Opening/Closing Time: 08:00/18:30
October 31 – April 14: Winter Visit Opening/Closing Time: 08:30/17:30

Closing Day: OPEN EVERYDAY

Admission Fee: FREE

 

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