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Hierapolis, Pamukkale

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Hierapolis, Pamukkale

Hierapolis was established by King Eumenes 2 and was given the name of “Hiera” in the honour of the wife of  Telephos, the legendary establisher of the ancient Pergamum.

Hierapolis was visited frequently by the people from the nearest cities and Laodicea -the ancient site established before Hierapolis, for using the thermal springs known for its curing properties to several illnesses.

From the 3 BC, as the fame of Hierapolis increased continually, migrations started from around and Hierapolis became an attractive and a favorable settlement, a rival city to Laodicea.

Was given to the Roman Empire in 133 BC, in the will of Pergamon King, Attalos 2. The town was destroyed completely by an earthquake in 17AD, in the reign of Tiberious.

The re-construction of Hiera polis was started in 60 AD, during the reign of Nero. Hierapolis reached its high and lived the most prosperous periods during the reign of Severus and his son Caracalla, around the years of 196AD and 215AD. A substantial development existed in the city, in art and culture. Many rich marble mines were founded and the marbles of  Hierapolis were used in Hagia Sophia of Istanbul.

It was governed by a Roman governor of Ephesus, in the Roman period. Sources stated that the city was also visited by Hadrian. With the division of the Roman Empire into two in 395 AD, the city was ruled by the Byzantine. Hierapolis had become the capital of  Phyrigia during the reign of  Constantine.

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The acceptance of Christianity created a new stage for the social and religious structure of Hierapolis’ becoming a patriarchal center. Also, in 80 AD, St. Philip -one of the 12 Apostles, was thought to have been killed in Hierapolis.

The city lost its prior importance from the early of the 6th century, continuing to the 11th century. The dreadful earthquake in 1354 meant the city was emptied, totally and has not settled properly since that date, even in Turkish-Ottoman periods. The city was covered by the uncontrolled waters and travertine. Today the thermal waters of Hierapolis reached to its former fame and became an interesting touristical center for foreigners,  not reputed only for its thermal waters, but also for its various temples and social activities such as the lively festivals and music concerts, popular with all.

Therefore, tourism was one of the main incomes of Hierapolis, during that era. Textile was also developed gradually and had become the principal source of the city’s prosperity.

Hierapolis Photos


Olympos, Antalya

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Olympos Antalya Turkey

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The history of Olympos is still mysterious. The city was set up in the Hellenistic period. It is certain that the city took its name from Mt. Olympos (Mt. Tahtali).

The coins of the city are dating back to the 2nd century BC. The city became one of the six leading cities that had the right to vote, a member of the Lycian Confederacy.

In the 1st century BC, Olympos became a settlement area for the pirates since they were so fond of the place. In 78 B.C. the Roman commander Servilius Isaurieus added the city to Roman territory and this was the final of the pirates.

Hadrian visited the city after which it took the name of Hadrianopolis for a period, in honour of the emperor.

Close up of Mt. Olympos (Tahtali)

2nd Century BC was when Olympos had the most prosperous era of its history. After this golden age, pirates kept troubling the city. As a result of the pirate attacks, wealthy cities became poorer and lost their significance. Out of this time on, the city survived only as a small, insignificant city.

The city enjoyed something of a revival when the knights of Venice, Genoa, and Rhodes came to spread themselves around the Mediterranean, but the city lost all its charm after the Ottoman Empire established superiority over the seas.

Olympos was completely abandoned in the 15th century. Olympos is spread across the two sides of the creek that passes through it. The hill that rises behind the tombs can be seen from the beach, and this was the acropolis of Olympos.

Olympos Antalya

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The remains on the hill belong to a fortress built in the middle Ages. When you look down from this hill, you can see this lovely river which makes the city resemble Venice.

The river was directed into a channel with polygonal walls built on its two sides. The 2 sides were joined by a bridge whose remains are still visible today.

On the other side of the river, there are remains of a building with windows. This was the Turkish-style bath of the city. You can walk across the river by stepping on the large pieces of stones in the river.

There also exist a theater but it’s difficult to get closer due of tall greenery. The theater’s paradoes with vaults, pieces of decorated doors and niches scattered around indicate the presence of a Roman theater here.Between the theater and the sea, there is a Byzantine basilica and city walls.

On the other side of the river are remains of a Turkish-style bath. The city’s agora and gymnasium should have been in the open area in the middle.

Olympos is located between Phaselis and Adrasan, on the southern side of Mt. Tahtali (Mt. Olympos), which you can approach by land as well as by sea.