Lycian gravesites  
Inscription below the Acropolis  

Sura was an ancient oracle site of Apollo Surio. This was the site of Apollo's fish oracle, which was famous in ancient times.
The ancient writer Athenaios describes the course of the oracle: On the shore of the sea there is a sacred district of Apollo and a whirlpool on the beach. The oracle seeker brings two wooden skewers with ten pieces of fried meat each and throws them into the basin. Then the pool fills with salt water and an abundance of fish of various species flows into the pool. A prophetes lists the number and types of fish gnawing at the flesh and according to this list the oracle priest gives the answer of the oracle to the questioner. Not only the number, but also the size of the individual specimens and the multitude of represented species is quite astonishing.


Building in the Acropolis  

Artemidor of Ephesos reports that there is a freshwater source on the beach and it is the mixture of salt and fresh water in this whirlpool that explains the extraordinary abundance of fish here. The locals would put the first fruits of meat and crop on wooden skewers and sacrifice them there.


Ruin of a public building  

The silted up harbour  

Pliny the Elder describes a somewhat different course in his "Natural History". According to him, the fish are lured to the cymbals by blowing a flute three times. If they had greedily picked up the meat thrown at them, it had been interpreted as a good omen, but had they pushed it away with their tail fin, it would have been a bad sign.


Antique fountain  



Remains of the oracle site are not preserved, only rock cut-outs, presumably of priests' apartments or dwellings of oracle seekers, are still visible. Nearby are the remains of two Byzantine churches, as well as several sarcophagi scattered throughout the city.







Lycian sarcophagus


You can reach Sura via the coastal road D400 between Fethiye and Antalya, about 5 km from Demre. The D400 cuts up the former city area. There is a brown sign directly on the road.

Photos: @chim, Monika P.    
Translation aid:    
Source: Wikipedia and others