Hierapolis, Pamukkale Overview

Hierapolis is an ancient Greek city next to Pamukkale in the Denizli Province of Turkey. The city dates back to the Hellenistic Period and still contains its magnificent ruins. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is mainly known for its hot springs that have been used as a spa since the 2nd century BC. The site is also home to the Tomb of Philip the Apostle.

Its streets are perpendicular or parallel, with the main road running north to the south next to travertine terraces. The remains of the city’s gates, namely the North Byzantine Gate, Domitian Gate and Frontinus Gate, are still standing and are flanked by colonnades or towers. The Domitian Gate was built by the proconsul Julius Frontinus. The Hierapolis Theatre, built during the reign of Hadrian, is one of its main attractions and is known for its seating capacity of over 15,000 and sculptural reliefs. It houses a temple dedicated to Apollo and the oldest local sanctuary called Pluto’s Gate. In front of the Apollo, the temple is the Nymphaeum, a monumental fountain dedicated to the Nymphs. The city’s Necropolis lies beyond its walls and consists of graves for the commoners, circular tumuli, Sarcophagi and larger family graves. Other attractions include an ancient sawmill, the St. Philip Martyrium, Cleopatra’s pool and several baths. The central Roman Bath of Hierapolis was converted into the Hierapolis Archaeological Museum, which contains many artefacts excavated from the site.

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