Category: Sanctuary / Nekropolis
Civilisation: Lycian / Asia Minor
SURA / SOURA / SOURAI
Sura ancient sanctuary / Necropolis site is 6 km away from the town ''Demre'' of Antalya. In the area, a series of sarcophagus tombs are noticed on the left before the descent ramp starts. This area on the hiking route called as ''Lykian road'' is an ancient area that is not easily recognized by the passing vehicles and has not been taken under protection. Some sources mention about the area as Sourai or Sura. The road from Andriake to Kaş passes through here in the opposite direction. In this case Soura remains to your left. Soura is a word in the Hellenic language, meaning Soura people. Sura lies between the ruins of Andriake in Myra and Çayağzı. The road to Kaş passes through the ancient city of Sura today.
The Temple of Apollo is in the deep valley to the west of the acropolis. The steps that have been carved into the rock indicate that they were reached by stairs from the acropolis. The temple is in the right side. The monk's prophecy area is at the foot of the acropolis. According to the rumor, the priests could make the prophecies, if the fish swallows the meat on skewers that are served by monks. In the sacred area, since the prophecies were done by looking at the fish, the temple was built on a swampy area on the edge of the water, although there were more suitable places on the acropolis. Behind the temple is the ruins of the Byzantine church, which is very dilapidated, and can be seen from the asphalt road to the valley.
There is not enough information about Soura's history. Ancient historians state that this place was one of Apollon's divination centers at 4th century B.C like other cities of the Lycian League. In some publications, although there are not any buildings to reflect the quality of the city in the area, Sura is accepted as a urban area and as a sanctuary.
The acropolis of the city covered a very small area and was surrounded by a thick wall. The fortification walls form a rectangular castle in the north.
In the south-east corner of the acropolis is a stele carved into the rocks, a statue base written in Lykya language and a list of priests reflecting the cult of Apollo Sorias. To the west of the acropolis there is the Apollon temple. Next to the temple there is a water source which is said to have beenused for prophecy. Behind the temple the ruins of a ruined Byzantine church which is dated to a period which is centuries after the Lycians can be seen.