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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


Aphrodisias, Temple of Aphrodite, Turkey

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Aphrodisias, Temple of Aphrodite, Turkey

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This ancient city was named one of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. The origins of the city could go back to the late Neolithic times. After the rise of the Roman supremacy in the region during the second century before Christ, a sacred attribute was added to the city. Aphrodisias was located 38 km south of Nazilli, in the village district Geyre Karacasu. Despite the devastating effects of a major earthquake in the 7th century AD, was beaten to the city, is a very good state of preservation of the old site. The temple on the north side is in the center of the city. Next to this temple, Tetrapylon, richly decorated gate built in the second century, is one that must see the remains of the city. In addition, the Agora, the Odeon, with a capacity of 8000 seats, the Bishop’s Palace and the bathrooms of the mark in the scene Aphrodisias spectacular. Professor Kenan Erim, who started the first excavations in the area in 1961, is buried in Aphrdoisias which remained fully engaged and had personal affection throughout his life. Today, only a quarter of the city still has not been brought to daylight.

Ancient sources provide little information about the city. According to the Byzantine historia Stephanus was founded by Lelegians and was known first as Lelegonopolis. The city name was changed to Megalopolis, and later again for a child. This name may derive from children, a ruler of Babylon semi-legendary or, more likely, is connected with the Child Akkadian, or Nina Nin, these names are to the goddess Astarte or Ishtar. The similarities between the religions of Ishtar and Aphrodite are well known to scholars and therefore most likely Aphrodisias is a Greek version of the Child. The use of the name Aphrodisias began after the 3 rd century BC. The similarities of the goddess Aphrodite to Artemis of Ephesus and other Anatolian mother goddesses are evident in cult statues found in the ruins. In the Hellenistic period, which took the form of an ancient nature goddess who was sovereign on earth, in heaven, and in the oceans and the underworld.

Aphrodisias pictures

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During the Roman period from first to sixth centuries AD, Aphrodisias became a rich and important city, known as a thriving commercial center and the excellence of its school of sculptors in marble. Despite the arrival of Christianity and the establishment of a bishop in the city, paganism still remained for several centuries in Aphrodisias, due to the popularity of the cult of the goddess. Under the Byzantines, the city was renamed Stavropolis (Ciudad de la Cruz), but locals prefer Caria, the name of the province (Geyre, the name of the modern village occupying the same site, is probably a corruption of the ancient Caria). When Christianity became the official religion of the Byzantine Empire, the pilgrimage shrine of Aphrodite gradually declined in importance, so much so that the names Aphrodite and Aphrodisias were erased from all inscriptions and sculptures.

As was his habit of mercilessly destroying other people’s religious shrines, the Christians demolished the beautiful temple of Aphrodite, was separated from his many columns, and erected a church where he had been the temple. Arab incursions, religious conflicts, political and economic pressures, and a series of epidemics and earthquakes marked the decline of the city. We know very little about the history of the city from the seventh century, sources of information is limited to a few religious documents and lists of the names of the bishops. The archaeological findings seem to point to a short-lived revival in the 11th century, followed by the incursion of the Seljuk Turks in Anatolia between the ages 11 and 13. In 1402 the city was attacked by Tamerlane and then completely abandoned. In the ages 15 and 16 of the area’s fertile land attracted new settlements and people Geyre taken the place of the ancient city of Aphrodisias.

Aphrodisias picture, Aphrodite pitures

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The name Aphrodisias is derived from Aphrodite, the goddess of nature, beauty, love and abundance, and his temple was one of the most famous places of worship of the Greek goddess in the world. Aphrodite Urania was the goddess of pure love, spiritual as she Aphrodite was the goddess of sensual love. She was married to Hephaestus, but he was the lover of Ares, Hermes, Dionysus and Adonis. Situated on a number of previous temples, the temple of Aphrodite was the center of the city. All that remains of the ancient temple consists of fourteen of the forty plus Ionic columns surrounding the patio. This temple was probably started in the first century BC, said that during the reign of Augustus and completed by Hadrian in the second century AD.

The building appears to have been what is known as a temple octastyle with thirteen columns on each side and eight columns at the front and rear. The discovery of several mosaic fragments belonging to the Hellenistic period indicate the existence of an older temple on the same site but with the conversion of a church temple in the fifth century all traces of the old building were destroyed. Directly east of the temple of Aphrodite and the monumental gateway functioning as a great Tetrapylon built during the reign of Hadrian (117-138 AD). The process of repair and re-assembly of the four columns Tetrapylon was completed in 1990. The city of Aphrodisias also offers an agora or market area, several buildings believed to have been schools, and the best preserved stadium in the eastern Mediterranean, with a capacity for 30,000 spectators.