Situated 32 km north of Kusadasi and 2 km north of the ancient harbor
Claros was famous for "The Temple of Apollo" as a center of oracle in the
Hellenistic and Roman eras. Claros possessed several religious edifices including the
famous temple of Apollo, that is also mentioned in the lays of Homer.
Constructed in the 2nd century BC, the
square propylon -used by the people coming from Notion and the direction of the
sea, is located in the entrance of the holy site. The construction is in the Doric order
and rests on a krepis with three steps. The famous "Temple of Apollo" -as
one of Apollos shrine surrounded by columns, was situated in a sacred wood of
ancient times. Measuring 26 x 40 meters, the temple is constructed in Doric order. Built
in the Hellenistic era, the temple was absolutely completed and became a frequent visited
place during the reign of Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD - inscribed on
the lintel resting columns on the façade. Tall statues of Apollo, his sister Artemis,
and his mother Leto lie to the northwest of the monumental entrance. The holy cave
near the temple proves that the cult of Cybele was once practiced here. In the
inscriptions of the columns and the walls of the semi-circular exedra, the names of
the delegations that had come from Anatolia and Eastern Europe to consult the oracle of
Apollo, also the names of the children and young people who sang hymns to the God Apollo,
are expressed. The traces on the exedras and the columns prove that there were bronze
statues, belonging to the owners of the monuments , through the sacred road. The Temple of
Apollo stands at the end of the sacred road. Under the temple, the existence of an older
temple of Apollo and its altar dating back to the 6th century BC, have been
A male oracle was used in the Temple of
Apollo, unlike the female medium of Delphi. The oracle used to deliver his revelations in
the sacred area under the cella of the temple. Only the stone arches of this sacred area
are remained. The oracle was consulted only at nights in a cave or an underground room,
and each oracle could serve only for one year. After drinking the holy water from a
rectangular well, the oracle used to answer the questions of people and delegations coming
for consulting. One of the more notable occasions on which it was consulted, was at the
time of the new Smyrna, toward the end of the 4th century BC.
The marble chair and large sundial, near the altar of the
temple are displayed in the Ephesus Museum. Many statues and relieves unearthed from the
previous excavations are on display in the Izmir Archeological Museum.
How to Go?
is situated 35km north of Kusadasi, on the Kusadasi-Seferihisar coastal highway. As the
city is not located on the road, it is advisable to visit by a private car.