The sacred Hierapolis of Phrygia, one of the antique cities of the Aegean, and Pamukkale, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988. History and nature meets in an extraordinary manner at Pamukkale.
The stunning white calcium pools, which cling to the side of a ridge, have long been one of the most famous picture postcard views of Turkey.
Pamukkale, with its glaring whiteness and petrified waters, is an enchanted and magnificent natural marvel.
Pamukkale, literally meaning “cotton castle”, is also the site of the ancient city of Hierapolis of which there are many interesting ruins, and is a very popular destination for a short visit. Pamukkale was formed when a spring with a high content of dissolved calcium bicarbonate cascaded over the edge of the cliff, which cooled and hardened leaving calcium deposits. This formed into natural pools, shelves and ridges, which tourists could plunge and splash in the warm water. With its brilliant white colour, it can be seen about a distance of 20 km
The ancient city of Hierapolis is believed to have been founded by Eumenies II, the King of Pergamum, in the 2nd century BC, and to have been named after Hiera, the beautiful wife of Telephos, the legendary founder of Pergamum.
CLEOPATRA’S ANTIQUE POOL
Situated above the Pamukkale white travertine pools is one particularly spectacular location fed by the same hot springs. Here you can bath in the same waters in which Cleopatra once swam! A professionally run modern spa facility allows you to enjoy these historical healing waters.
Unlike the white water of the lower pools the Antique Pool favored by Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, is pure clear warm water. Once it was surmounted by a Roman Temple to Apollo with ornate roof held up with Doric columns. Imagine how Cleopatra must have experienced this when you imagine it in it’s glory day.
HIERAPOLIS ANCIENT CITY
Hierapolis played an important role in spreading Christianity in Anatolia, and it was the place where Phillip, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, died. For this reason, Hierapolis became an important religious centre in the 4th century AD. Later it assumed the title of the Guide of the East and Hierapolis came under the rule of Eastern Roman Empire in 395 AD, and became a metropolitan bishopric.
The name Hierapolis also means the sacred city. It has a Necropolis, the Domitian Gate, the theatre with reliefs depicting various mythological scenes, the Frontinus Street, the Agora, the North Byzantine Gate, the Gymnasium, the Fountain with Triton, the Apollo sacred site, the water channels and Nymphea, the city walls, the Martyrium of St. Phillip and bridge, the Column Church, the ruins of Basilica and Roman Baths. These are still standing in all their glory.
LAODICEA ANCIENT CITY
Listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage temporary list, and home to one of the seven churches mentioned in the Christian New Testament, Laodicea (Laodikya) is an ancient city located in the Lycus River Valley of Anatolia, near Hierapolis It was founded in the 3rd century BC by Seleucid King Antiochus II in honor of his wife, Laodice. The city hold an important location at the valley which was a natural caravan trade route from the Aegean sea to inland or vice versa, therefore it prospered throughout the centuries.
APHRODISIAS ANCIENT CITY
The ancient city of Aphrodisias, dedicated to the goddess of love Aphrodite, was a Hellenistic city which also flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule. Excavations in the 24-meter-high (78 feet) theater hill have revealed layers of settlement going back to the Bronze Age (around 2800-2200 BC). It was founded in the 5th c. BC and flourished under the Roman Empire (1st century BC – 4th century AD). Mark Antony recognized the autonomy of Aphrodisias in the 1st century BC. During the Byzantine period it was first the seat of an archbishopric, then of the metropolitan of Caria. In the 6th century AD the name of Aphrodisias was changed to Stavropolis, the “city of the Cross”, to erase the pagan goddess of love from people’s minds. As the capital of Caria, Aphrodisias was finally called Caria which then became Geyre in Turkish. Later in the 13th century it was abandoned, the city was buried by a series of earthquakes.