Labraunda is the home of the Sanctuary of Zeus Labraundos and is located in the mountains overlooking the plain of Milas. It was one of the most important sanctuaries in Caria, especially in the 4th century BC when King Mausolus, the satrap of Caria, made Labraunda his family sanctuary.
Coordinates: 37° 25′ 8″ N, 27° 49′ 13″ E
The cult of Zeus Labraundos, whose attribute was the double-headed axe, may have originated in the 7th century BC at a spring just above the temple terrace. It is quite possible that Labraunda was first seen as a sacred place because of the remarkable rock above the sanctuary. It has the appearance of having been split in two by a thunderbolt. Moreover, the sacred spring is located just below the split rock.
The site was situated on a rather steep slope so the buildings were constructed on a series of five artificial terraces. It was linked to the city of Mylasa (modern Milas) by a 7.5 m wide, paved Sacred Way. A 5-day long sacrificial feast was celebrated here every year.
The remains, dating to the 5th century BC and 1st century AD, include the Temple of Zeus, two large Andrones (ceremonial dining halls), two stoas, two Roman baths, several priests’ residences, and a nymphaeum.