Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pamukkale, Hierapolis and Laodicea, Turkey april 17-19th

 Pamukkale ( a UNESCO site) a calcified hillside formed over hundreds of years from hot springs from the Roman site of Hierapolis.   Water at bottom is new area. 

Starting on our trek through the coolish water of the travertine basins (old thermal springs). one has to remove shoes.

Standing  in the water before the really strong winds started to blow, feet sure felt great afterwards.

 very pretty patterns in the water

another view of the calcified springs with ruins up above

Hierapolis, greek then roman site at the top of the springs. Huge site we wandered for about 3 hours.

part of a gymnasium in hierapolis with Greek writing carved on the stone

Byzantine southern gate of site

 pretty hillside covered in not excavated areas

 supposed place of  the apostle st philip's martydom, was up a big hill

small museum was in the old baths. gold byzantine coins

Scott in museum in ruins of baths

roman latrines

nearing the northern gate area as the rains approached

one of the tombs in necropolis area outside the northern gate, with its broken door

The huge necropolis area with  lots to still be  excavated.

Necropolis looks tranquil but when we were walking here we were practically blown away.

Second site we visited:  Laodiceia. Temple of zeus with its use of marble, pretty twisted marble columns.

laodiceia gorgeous fanlike decoration

site had ruins of two theatres

Pretty views from site, again a lot to yet be uncovered. mountains in the background were snow-covered. as our guide said "if we uncover it then we have to take care of it". So true!

We toured initially in the pouring rain and then sun came out. Note the white patch in the background, that is pamukkale. Very visible from all over. 

Roman filtration system

Laodiceia was a smaller but wealthier site than hierapolis. they used marble here and not in hierapolis. It is one of the 7 cities of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation, goes back to 280 B.C. Nice site to explore.

Have wanted to visit Pamukkale for a while. While one can no longer go into the thermal baths as they once were, there is an antique pool at the site of Hierapolis where you can bath. We went into the pool (an additional 30 turkish lire, site cost 20 turkish lire) where you swim over old Roman columns. Temperature of the water was 35 degrees, not that hot but was pleasant. We were swimming just as 90 miles an hour winds started to blow so it wasn't all that relaxing (and because of that I forgot to get a photo)  but we felt we had to experience the supposed healing properties of the water.  It was interesting but the Roman site was really worth it. It is now being excavated by Italians and in the late 90s a lot has been discovered.  Hierapolis is mentioned by Herodotus (late 400's B.C) and it became a part of the Roman Province of Asia in 129 B.C. Roman emperors Hadrian, Caracalla and Vealen visited here.
After a turkish lunch in town of Pamukkale (where you don't want to spend too much time!) we headed out to other site of Laodiceia, both of these sites are mentioned in the Bible.  good day of touring despite the rain and wind in the afternoon. Again those Romans were everywhere.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! All that white is calcium? It looks like snow or ice or something very cold! What a neat place... hope to visit someday as well. :)