Chimaera (sanctuary)

Chimaera (Χίμαιρα. "she-goat"): a fire-breathing monster, living in eastern Lycia.

Chimaera, natural gasIn western Lycia, one can still see and smell the fiery breath of the Chimaera, a famous creature from ancient mythology, killed by Bellerophon. This "fiery breath" is, in fact, a natural source of methane gas. On a rocky platform, you can see how every now and then, flames start to flare up from one of the little "mouths" of the earth.

Chimaera, Byzantine churchThe site, not far from the Lycian Mount Olympus, continued to attract visitors for a very long time, and the first Christians built a small church next to the methane source. Perhaps they wanted to neutralize the evil spirit they believed to be present.

This page was created in 2014; last modified on 25 July 2015.