Pamukkale Hierapolis Ancient City and Travertine Terraces

Pamukkale Hierapolis Ancient City and Travertine Terraces

Pamukkale is exceptional because of its superiority over natural phenomena such as warm, mineralized water that flows from springs and creates pools and terraces. This is where Hierapolis was established, which is an exemplary example of a Graeco-Roman thermal installation. The Christian monuments here are great examples for early-Christian architecture complexes.

Pamukkale, the Turkish name for "cotton castle", is an extraordinary site that got its moniker from the mineral deposits caused by hot springs. Mineral forests, petrified cascades and terraced pools of a natural nymphaeum are bizarre shapes created by the rich minerals in this ancient spot; it's no wonder that Pamukkale is one of Turkey's most popular tourist attractions.

Pamukkale Hierapolis Ancient City and Travertine Terraces

The ancient Greeks attributed the healing abilities of the hot springs to match its power in transforming the landscape, and they built a thermal station on the site in 2nd-century Roman times. The history of Hierapolis is similar to many Hellenistic cities in Asia Minor as it followed a similar course over time.

The therapeutic benefits of the waters were exploited at various thermal installations, which included baths and pools. Hydrotherapy was accompanied by religious rites, which developed in relation to local cults.

The Romans acquired full control of it in 129 BC and it prospered under its new rulers. It was a cosmopolitan city where Anatolians, Graeco-Macedonians, Romans and Jews intermingled. The hot springs which attracted throngs of people ‘taking the waters’ also served another purpose: scouring and dying wool.

Pamukkale Hierapolis Ancient City and Travertine Terraces

The Temple of Apollo is positioned on top of a fault that emitted noxious gas. The theatre built from the time of Severus has an impressive frieze depicting a ritual procession and tribute to Ephesian Artemis.

According to ancient tradition, Philip the Apostle was beheaded there by Domitian around the year 87. Hieropolis remained one of the two metropolises of Phrygia Pacatiana as well as being a bishopric. The group of Christian buildings are the cathedral, baptistry and churches. The most important monument is the martyrium of St Philip. At the top of magnificent stairs, ochoque forms christian building layout is remarkable because with its ingenious spatial organization.

In the excavations conducted in the Hierapolis Ancient City, it has been revealed that Hell’s Gate and the entrance to a cave which was considered -at the time of ancient pagan beliefs- to be a 'gateway between life and death' were unearthed. This place is called as Plutonium Sanctuary.

The ancient city of Hierapolis has been inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.