Tour the Amazing Remains of Hierapolis

Europe - Editor - 22 October 2007

Tour the Amazing Remains of Hierapolis

The ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in south-western Turkey near the busy city of Denizli, is a popular tourist attraction. The city was built on the hot springs of Pamukkale located on a hillside that is covered in unique geological formations created by the hot spring mineral deposits over countless years.

Hierapolis has a long and interesting history with the infrastructure changing frequently depending on who was in power at the time. Hierapolis was established in 190 B.C. by Eumenes II, the king of Pergamon. In the 1st century A.D. Hierapolis was part of the tri-city area together with Laodicea and Colossae, being mentioned by the apostle Pauli n the Bible at Colossians 4:13. During the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. the city became a popular Roman thermal bath centre.

As far back as the 2nd century B.C. people traveled from far and wide to this area in order to seek relief from their ailments by bathing in the mineral hot springs which were believed to have therapeutic properties. Many of these travelers spent the rest of their days in Hierapolis and as a result the nearby necropolis (burial site) is filled with sarcophagi (ornately carved and decorated stone coffins), many of them in excellent condition. The baths that held the mineralized water for people to bathe in were constructed out of huge stone blocks with various closed and open sections that linked together without the use of cement. This complex, which is an outstanding example of vault-type architecture, also housed a library and gymnasium.

Included in the ruins of Hierapolis is the Apollo Temple with foundations dating back to the Hellenistic period and the structure being built in the 3rd century A.D. Apollo was considered to be the divine founder of the city. After an earthquake in 60 A.D. a Roman theater was built against a hillside. The ruins of this theater complete with an ornately decorated stage depicting Apollo and Artemis also forms part of Hierapolis.

A visit to the ruins of the city of Hierapolis and the Pamukkale hot springs will be an unforgettable experience – so be sure to include a tour of this fascinating area during your visit to Turkey.


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