Italian cathedral bears traces of Latmos

Italian cathedral bears traces of Latmos

Italian cathedral bears traces of Latmos

Latmos Mountains in western Türkiye is drawing attention with its natural landscape and historical texture. Traces of Latmos (Beşparmak), which is visited by many tourists every year for its prehistoric rock paintings, can be seen in the Siena Cathedral in the Tuscany region of Italy.

The love between the Goddess of the Moon, Selene, and the Shepherd Endymion in Latmos and their mythological story that resulted in Endymion’s eternal sleep is told in the ceiling decorations of the cathedral, which was built at the end of the 13th century and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Talking about the relationship between the famous cathedral and the Latmos Mountains, the Ecosystem Conservation and Nature Lovers Association (EKODOSD) President Bahattin Sürücü said, “These ornaments depict the most romantic love of the ancient era, based on a mythological story about the love between the Goddess Selene and the Shepherd Endymion. It results in Endymion’s eternal sleep. The story takes place in the Latmos Mountains.”

“The city of Siena, known for its medieval history and cultural monuments in Tuscany, is a city visited by millions of tourists. One of the most important structures of the city is the Siena Cathedral, built in the Romanesque and Gothic style at the end of the 13th century. This cathedral is famous for its frescoes and paintings. It is home to priceless works of Pisano, Donatello and Michelangelo, the chief architects of the Renaissance, and paintings by Pinturicchio. More than 1 million people visit this structure, which is the symbol of Siena, every year. Inside one of the ceiling decorations of the cathedral is a very important mythological story relating to the Latmos Mountains,” he said.

He said that the cultural heritage of the Latmos region has directly or indirectly affected the artistic and literary works, beliefs and traditions of Anatolian and European culture since the prehistoric era.

“This mythological story takes place in the Latmos Mountains. The mythological love story between Endymion and Selene has been reflected in plastic arts since the Archaic Period. The mythological story is mostly depicted in the sarcophagi of the Roman era, and the eternal sleep of the Endymion has been recognized as the symbol of immortality. The motif of Endymion’s falling into eternal sleep also continued in the art of the recent period. One of them is a scene on the ceiling by the painter Pinturicchio in the ‘Biblioteca Piccolimini’ in Siena Cathedral,” he said.

Stating that those who want to see this mythological legend today come to region to watch the full moon coming out from behind the Beşparmak Mountains and the lights reflecting on the Bafa Lake, Sürücü said “There is the Endymion sanctuary in the entrance of the ancient city of Heraclea in the village of Kapıkırı. Last year, many finds were unearthed during the excavations carried out in the sanctuary under the leadership of Professor Zeliha Gider Büyüközer. However, in the holistic geography of Latmos, destruction caused by the mining activities continues. The works should be stopped as soon as possible, new permits should not be given for mining activities, projects should be developed to promote this mountain, which is an open-air museum, to the whole world.”