Claros – Prophecy Center of Apollo
Claros, located in the Menderes district of Izmir, was one of the three oracle centers of the Oracle God Apollo in ancient times. The fact that even the steps of the Temple of Apollo Klaros are inscribed makes it the only sanctuary with this feature. There are cult statues of Apollo, Artemis and Leto in the sanctuary. This feature is not seen much in other cult centers.
The Achaeans, who migrated to this region in the 13th century BC, settled in the city of Kolophon. The leader of the first immigrant group, Rhikos, married a girl named Manto, who was in an immigrant group from Thebes. It is believed that the Klaros Prophecy Center was formed from the tears of the Manto.
The word Claros means attraction or land in the Hellenic language, but its original origin is said to come from the Luwian word Kalara, which means "coast" or "pier".
The sanctuary of Claros functioned as a Center for Knowledge, from its establishment in the 13th century BC until its abandonment with the spread of Christianity in the 4th century AD. It has never been an independent city, it has always developed under Kolophon. In ancient times, the Oracle God Apollo had 3 divination centers. Delphi in Greece, Didyma Apollon Temple and Claros in Didim. For this reason, Claros is a very important sanctuary and divination center.
Prophecies at the Klaros Cognition Center are made in the light of the torch after the moon rises to the sky at the time of the full moon, 7 young girls and 7 boys who have just stepped into puberty come in front of the altar and the temple, waving laurel leaves in their hands, where they sing hymns to the god. According to the belief, since the temples are the houses of the gods, it is not allowed to enter, the people wait at the entrance of the temple.
Places to see in Claros
Propylon There is a sacred road filled with two-sided columns and statues leading from the Propylon (Area Entrance Building), which is thought to have been built in the 2nd century BC, to the Temple of Apollo. Inscriptions written by those who went to consult the oracle were found in the Propylon.
Temple of Apollo Claros Dedicated to the god Apollo, the Apollon Klaros Temple is the only Doric temple built in Ionia during the Hellenistic Period. It is dated to the 2nd century BC. In the Temple of Apollo, there are crepis (steps), naos (the cella-the basic structure of the temple, the holiest part), pronaos (the entrance to the cella) and monumental cult statues (Apollo, his sister Artemis and their mother Leto). These monumental cult statues are very rare in other sanctuaries. Another feature of this place is that it is the only sanctuary where even the steps of the Temple of Apollo Klaros have inscriptions.
Apollon Altar To the east of the Temple of Apollo is the Hellenistic Altar of Apollo. One of the two sacrificial tables on the altar is dedicated to Apollo and the other to Dionysus. The Hekatomb (100 animal binding blocks) is considered the first archaeological evidence of this animal ritual.
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