Denizli Pamukkale Hierapolis
( PAMUKKALE )
It's about 20 km north of Denizli. It is called a Holy City
in Archeological literature, because there were many temples
and religious buildings in Hierapolis. The ancient city
is situated between several historical areas. According
to the ancient geographers, Strabon and Ptolemaios, Hierapolis
was very close to Laodicea and Tripolis which was in Kario's
Border. That's why it was a Phrygian City. There is no information
about Hierapolis' history before the Hellenistic Era, but
we know there was a city there before then. It's called
Hierapolis because of its Mother goddess Cult.
Information about Hierapolis is limited. It is known that
the king of Pergamum, Eumenes II, founded the city in 190
BC. It was named Hierapolis after the Amazon's Queen Hiera,
the wife of Telephos, the founder of Pergamum. (Pergamum
is also called Pergamon or Pergamos).
Hierapolis was completely destroyed by the earthquake
in 60 A.D. during the time of Roman Emperor Nero. During
the reconstruction after the earthquake, the city lost its
Hellenistic Style and became a typical Roman City. Right
after the Roman period started, Hierapolis became an important
center because of its commercial and religious position.
In 80 A.D. St. Philip came to Hierapolis and was murdered
by the Jewish inhabitants. Hierapolis was conquered by the
Turks at the end of the 12th century A.D.
has always been a very popular settlement where the hot
springs were believed to have healing powers, so the city
became the center of a pagan cult in antiquity and a spa
The city was on the borders of Caria, Lycia and Phrygia
and had a mixed population. Citizens were usually involved
in the wool industry and little has changed as it is still
a textile center.
The terraces were formed by running warm spring water, at
a temperature of 35 °C / 102 °F containing calcium bicarbonate.
When the water loses its carbon dioxide it leaves limestone
deposits. These are of different colors and shapes in the
form of terraces with pools, overhanging surfaces and fascinating
stalactite formations. Pamukkale which means "cotton
castle" in Turkish takes its name from
these formations. According to scientists, if the water
had always flowed at this rate, the terraces must have begun
forming 14,000 years ago.A little further away from Pamukkale,
near Karahayit village is another thermal spring, Kirmizi
Su (the Red Water) with warmer water but less carbon dioxide
gas where the running water creates a reddish effect different
then the white cotton terraces of Pamukkale.
History of Hierapolis
The ancient city of Hierapolis was founded by Pergamum,
probably Eumenes II, in the 2C BC. Hierapolis is believed
to derive its name from Hiera, the wife of Telephus, both
being legendary ancestors of kings of Pergamum. Hierapolis
was also interpreted by some as the "holy city".
All the surviving ruins of the city except the foundations
of the Apollo Temple date back to the Imperial Roman period.
In 133 BC the city was bequeathed to the Romans along with
the Kingdom of Pergamum by the will of Attalus III. It is
also thought That a large population of Jewish people lived
there who contributed to the expansion of the Christian
belief. Hierapolis suffered from frequent large earthquakes
and was restored many times, one of them being a complete
rebuilding by Nero in the 1C AD.
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