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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


Ephesus Arena (hippodrome), Kusadasi

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The large stadium or hippodrome of Ephesus was at first created in the third century BC and continuing to be used, for slightly completely different requirements, even after the rise of Christianity.


The stadium has been dated by an inscription to the leadership of Nero (54-68 AD). But the Roman stadium almost certainly replaced an earlier structure built throughout the rule of Hellenistic king Lysimachus (3rd century BC).

Ephesus’ stadium was well-taken care of over the centuries and even received a major restoring in the 4th century. Gladiatorial and animal fights fell out of favor with the rise of Christianity, but athletic games continuing here well into the Byzantine period of time.

When Ephesus was generally abandoned in the 7th century, much of the arena was dismantled and its stone added to the fortifications on Ayasuluk hill.

What to See ?

The stadium was shaped like a long ‘U’ and measured 229m by 28m. The spectactors’ seats on the south side were cut from the side of Mt. Pion, while those on the north side rested on vaults.

The stadium narrowed in the center, allowing the eastern section to be turned into an arena for the more gory spectacles of gladiators and animal combats. Wild animals were kept in small rooms neighborhood.

The principal entrance to the stadium was through a well-preserved breathtaking gate on the west side.

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