Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Aphrodisias, Laodicea, and Pammukale / Hierapolis

We headed east on the next day of our tour to visit Aphrodisias, Laodicea, and Pammukale / Hierapolis. I had not visited this sites before. Aphrodisias does not really have any biblical connections, but it is a magnificent site that is well worth the visit. HERE are the pics. (Only 24 total) The Tetrapylon (Monumental Gate) is certainly picturesque, and the stadium is one of the best preserved, capable of holding 30,000 people. (It was damaged in a earthquake in the 7th (?) century and one end was converted to a theater.) The Temple of Aphrodite was converted into a church. Due to construction and time, we weren't able to see the theater and buildings at the southern end of the city. Time spent in the museum was worth while, however. Reliefs from the Sebasteion are well-preserved and quite remarkable, chronicling the triumphs of the emperors.  

If you have multiple pictures of a single location, they can be joined into a multiple perspective picture using Photosynth. HERE is one I compiled of the Tetrapylon at Aphrodisias.

We next went on to Laodicea which has experienced tremendous archaeological renovations within the last few years, and work is in progress still. It is a rather impressive site, and we only got to see a portion of it. 9 miles to the east is the mound that is what's left of Colossae. 5 miles to the north is modern Pamukkale just below ancient Hierapolis. One of the drawbacks of traveling in January is that it gets dark rather early, and so we didn't have time to go through Hierapolis. I'll have to plan another trip back...

UPDATE: Thanks to a comment added, I've been looking for the reference to the church discovered in Laodicea. HERE is the article. As Todd Bolen notes, however, this 4th century building is not the "church" mentioned in Colossians 4:15-16 or Revelation 3:14-22.


  1. Laodicea is an amazing site - visited it about two years ago. Scary how fast they're going with the archaeology!

    Have you heard about the church discovery at Laodicea? It was reported in the Hurriyet (Turkish newspaper) a few days ago.

    P.S. Like reading your blog, thanks!

  2. Yes, I suspect that Laodicea will soon become a significant stop added to the tours. Our guide--who was extremely knowledgeable and familiar with the site from just a year ago--was astounded at the work that had been accomplished.
    I had not heard about a new church discovery there. I tried searching the Hurriyet paper (the English version) but could not find any report. Do you have a link?

  3. Yes, sorry for taking so long to reply - here's the link:

  4. Hierapolis of now is visited by travelers from all around the world, who are mainly attracted by the historical significance, the ruins, the artifacts and the hot springs. There are a whole range of ruins here. There are many tours and trips organized to the breathtakingly beautiful Pamukkale and the thermal pools. The ancient artifacts here make for a complete experience. There are attractions such as a museum and others.