Pamukkale Travel Important Places
The ancient city of Hierapolis grew over the thermal springs and today provides visitors with a glimpse of the natural gifts of the region and cultural riches that man added to nature. The ancient city, situated 20 kilometers North of Denizli, is justly famous fort he buildings and artefacts unearthed during extensive excavations. Hierapolis is known as the ‘Sacred City’ on account of its many temples and religious buildings. The geographers of antiquity, Strabo and Ptolemy, claimed that Hierapolis was a Phrygian city, because of its proximity to Laodicea on the Lycus and Tripolis, cities situated on the border with the Caria region. Experts noted that there were human settlements associated with the cult of Cybele, the goddess of motherhood, on the site of the city before it was established as Hierapolis.
Frontinus Road ; 14 meters wide, Frontinus Road, built in the 1st century AD, was the main thoroughfare of the city. Along its center is the main drain of the city, covered with large stone slabs. Shops, houses and warehouses ran along both sides of the road, forming the city’s commercial district, which extends along the 170 meters section of the road up to the Byzantine Gate.
Agora ; following an earthquake that shook the city in 60 AD, this location, which previously contained dwellings, workshops and the necropolis, was rebuilt as the commercial Agora of Hierapolis. Excavations have unearthed ceramic kilns with round plan furnaces and embossed pots. The built area was 170 meters wide and 280 meters long, and it was one of the largest agora of Asia Minor. The site has been restored to its present state through excavations and is open to visitors.
Gymnasium ; the gymnasium dates to the same period of construction as the Temple of Apollo and the Frontinus Road, following the devastating earthquake in the 1st century AD. Scientific explorations noted a piece of architrave containing an inscription indicating that the colonnaded building was a gymnasium. The building must have consisted of a large courtyard enclosed with a portico. The building’s date is suggested by the consistency of architectural features with other buildings built in Hierapolis in the 1st century AD.
Latrine ; the latrine is noteworthy among the architectural structures of Hierapolis as it has survived with all its integral features intact, despite having collapsed in an earthquake. The building has a long and narrow plan, with entry by two doors on the side. It was built with travertine blocs and function. There is a channel on the floor carrying waste water to the sewers under the road.
Plutonium ; the entrance to the Plutonium is on the right side of Temple and it was marked with a marble niche decorated with seashells. A round, 1st century pediment highlighting the sacredness of the venue was placed over the entrance. The podium of the structure is decorated with the motif of spiraling branch. The sounds of subterranean sources could be heard at the entrance of Plutonium. As poisonous gases accumulate under the threshold, this historical structure is closed off.
Sacred Area of Apollo; the stupendous sacred are of Hierapolis is devoted to Apollo, the most important god of the city. Apollo was the Sun God, and represented the fine arts, too. His father was Zeus, King of the Gods, and his mother Leto. The monumental building dates to the 1st century AD and was extensively altered in the 3rd century AD. The sacred areas built upon terraces were connected with a marble stairway. The lower terrace is surrounded by marble columns. On the podium, an enclosure created by the peri bolos walls used to be thought of as a temple, but was later recognised as a center of oracles. The sources of antiquity told that a poisonous gas was emitted from the center of the structure. The Great Temple of Apollo is noteworthy for its ionic order.
Theatre; the majestic theatre of Hierapolis was built in the 3rd century AD during the reign of Emperor Septimus Severus, and was used until the late Roman period. A special seating arrangement in an exedra for the notables of the city features seats with high-back and legs ending in lion’s paw feet. On the podium, there is a decorated frieze devoted to Apollo and Artemis. The theatre’ acoustic arrangement is still remarkable and the building is one of the most visited structures of the city.
Saint Philippe Martyrion ; this 5th century church, which housed the remains of St. Philippe, who was martyred in the city, is the most important cult structure in Hierapolis from the Christian era.
Necropolis ; there are two necropolis fields containing graves, one is situated straddling the North road and the other South road. The funeral monuments of the ancient city are sarcophagi, tumuli and remarkable house-shaped graves. While the sarcophagi are mostly made of marble, other tombs are made of limestone.
Domitian Gate ; This interesting and well preserved structure situated at the North entrance to Hierapolis is a gate with three arches supported by two side towers. It was built in 82-83 AD. And dedicated to Emperor Domitian.
Laodicea , established between 263 and 261 BC, is one of the best known ancient cities of Anatolia, and the site of one of the seven most important churches of Christianity. It is renowned for its glorious architecture as well invaluable coins.
Tripolis ; was one of the border cities of Lydia providing access to Caria and Phyrgia regions and was enriched by commerce and agriculture. The city had also a religious importance since the historical sources indicate that it was a bishopric. The structures, including theatre, bathhouse, city council building, necropolis, fortress and city walls, display the architectural aesthetics typical of the period.