Sanctuary of the Mother Goddess Cybele


Excavations on the northern slope of Panayır Dağı (Mt Pion) overlooking the so-called Grotto of the Seven Sleepers have revealed stelae or sepulchral monuments representing the Anatolian fertility goddess Cybele with a lion at her feet. Legend has it that a group of Christian youths hid in the cave around 250 AD to escape religious persecution and miraculously emerged 200 years later. Other versions of the legend have them being walled up by soldiers or being Muslim rather than Christian.