Hierapolis was once a thriving, multicultural ancient city and spa, the remains of which can now be seen in modern day Turkey.
It is said to have been founded by the rulers of Pergamum, the Attalid Dynasty, and is usually attributed to their King Eumenes II (197BC-159BC). However, it is thought by many that Hierapolis was actually in existence a couple of centuries earlier.
Whatever the case, part of what made – and still makes – Hierapolis such an attractive site were its hot springs, once thought to have had miraculous healing properties. Visitors would travel to Hierapolis to dip in them, something which visitors still do today.
Most of the ruins at Hierapolis date from the Roman period. The Romans occupied Hierapolis in 129AD and the city grew into something of a multicultural haven, with Romans, Jews, Greco-Macedonians and others living there side by side. Of course, Hierapolis was not a complete utopia. In fact, it is said that Philip the Apostle was crucified there and the city suffered from earthquakes, particularly in the first century AD.
There’s plenty to see at Hierapolis today, including its theatre, Hellenistic layout and streets, many standing columns, the nymphaeum and a large necropolis to name a few sites. As mentioned above, visitors can also take a dip in the hot springs, a unique experience.
As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Hierapolis is paired with the stunning natural site of Pamukkale, known as the Cotton Palace, which is nearby.
Discover the best Historic Sites in Turkey, from Hagia Sophia to the Helles Memorial and more, includes interactive map of the top Turkish cultural locations and monuments.
Discover the best Greek ruins in Turkey, from Ephesus to Laodikeia and more, includes an interactive map of ancient Greek Sites in Turkey.