A Visit to the Temple of Hekate, Lagina

A Visit to the Temple of Hekate, Lagina March 21, 2018

I was very privileged to be able to visit the Temple of Hekate, Lagina in late 2015 as part of a year-long travel adventure, visiting dozens of temples and sacred places of different faiths around the world.  It is not an easy place to visit, it is off the tourist trail (for now!) and although it is not within the zone of Turkey along the Syrian border which is considered unsafe, many tourists do no feel comfortable visiting rural parts of Turkey at the present time. This is unfortunate – as it is a beautiful country and I found the people from the region which was once ancient Caria to be friendly and supportive of visitors.  I took hundreds of photographs during my time at Lagina, and in this blog, I am sharing a few snapshots of my time there – in the hope that it will inspire some readers to make an effort to visit this extraordinary place now and into the future.

How did we get there?
I was travelling with my son and partner Lokabandhu, who is a seasoned adventurer keen on travelling “like the locals” and in the most eco-friendly way.  This usually means public transport!  We could have hired a car or a driver for the day to take us to Lagina from where we were staying in Bodrum, but with some hesitation, I agreed to an adventure: Travel by public transport to the city of Yatağan, Muğla, and from there take local transportation to Lagina.  Easy?  Right?  Might have been if we at least spoke some of the local language – which we did not!  All the same the trip was a beautiful adventure!

Journey to the Temple of Hekate in Lagina. Photos by Sorita d'Este. For Adamantine Muse Blog - Journey to the Temple of Hekate.
Journey to Lagina – The mini-bus ….

We took a local mini-bus taxi at silly o’clock in the morning from the bus terminal in Bodrum.  There were about 8 people (including us) on the bus, and none of them spoke a word of English.  All the same they offered us sweets and water, and many gestures and smiles as the three of us made our way through the mountains to Yatağan.  We passed the turning to Lagina a few miles before Yatağan.  In Yatağan we decided to take a walk around the town and find a taxi to take us to Lagina. It is a small town, wonderfully non-touristic – which turned out to be both fascinating and challenging.  No-one seemed to speak English and finding a taxi was not straight forward.  However, we finally managed to communicate to a driver who was off duty that we we wanted to go to Lagina.  He understood, but was reluctant as he was clearly on his way home – so wrote down a price on a piece of paper and rather than haggle, we accepted.

Drive to the Temple of Hekate, Lagina - Turkey (Caria)
The driver who agreed to drive us to the archeological site of the Temple of Hekate, Lagina.

 

Triple power-plant at the crossroads to Lagina!
Triple power-plant at the crossroads to Lagina!

The magic of Lagina started at the modern crossroads, where our car turned off the main road at a three-way crossroads.  Ugly perhaps because of the horrendous industrial power plant, but the symbolism did not escape us – three tall pillars, in red and white initiated the final part of the journey.

Information board at the Temple of Hekate, Lagina, Photo by Sorita d'Este.
Information board at the Temple of Hekate, Lagina,
The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.
The helpful site guardian, who tried to show me all the most interesting things about the site – even though he didn’t speak any English! Very lovely man!
The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.
One of many large fragments of temple stone scattered around the site. This depicts a Labrys – associated with the God Zeus, and also with the Minoan Goddess of Crete.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.
I wonder what once stood on this stone, leaving this impression for us to ponder.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.
Steps to the temple – there are dozens of carved sigils, and feet carved into it.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.
The Stoa.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.

The Temple of the Goddess Hekate, Lagina (Ancient Caria, Anatolia - modern Turkey). A visit in 2015, photograph by Sorita d'Este.

I hope you enjoyed this little insight, happy to correspond with others planning a visit to the site – and looking forward to my own return in the near future!

 

More information:

http://turkisharchaeonews.net/site/lagina

https://www.dailysabah.com/history/2017/09/14/excavations-resume-in-lagina-center-of-paganism

http://www.allaboutturkey.com/lagina.htm

Circle for Hekate, Vol.1 – 2017

https://www.academia.edu/3415350/The_Temple_of_Hekate_at_Lagina

 

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