translates to Cotton Castle. It is one of the most
remarkable natural sites with its cotton white plateaus, pale blue waters
topping of the shallow pools and gently cascading down the drape-like
stalagmites onto the lower levels for over 300 feet. Romans used this well known
mineral rich, hot volcanic spring water as a natural spa for its therapeutic
powers. The great baths were constructed in the 2nd century and serve as a
museum today. Spas are abundant here. Hierapolis contains a Byzantine church,
ruins of Apollo Temple, Nymphaion (a 4th century fountain) and a Necropolis with
more than 1,000 cut stone sarcophagi and tombs. The Martyrium of St. Philip and
a colonnaded street erected by Domitian are also located in Pamukkale.
was first settled by the Hittites in 1500 B.C. It has extensive
Roman and Hellenistic ruins like a stadium, Garrison Towers from 3rd century BC,
a theater for 14,000 and a large agora. St. Paul preached his first sermon here.
The acropolis itself was cooled ingeniously by directing mountain water through
the colonnaded avenue.
Phaselis is surrounded by nature's romantic and tranquil setting with a
pine forest and a secluded beach. It enjoyed great prosperity during the Roman
Empire. It offers an arch that commemorates Emperor Hadrian's visit, three
harbors (that you can swim in with submerged ruins), a 2nd century theater,
aqueducts, cistern and a temple.
Philadelphia was built on the site of an ancient Lydian town that was
founded in the 1st Millennium B.C. under the name Callatebus. In 145 BC Atalus
II, King of Pergamon, captured the town and renamed it Philadelphia meaning
"brotherly love". Philadelphia is the most recent of the Seven
Churches: Revelation 3:7-13
Priene was a member of the Ionian Confederation and prospered during the
Hellenistic Period. The beautiful houses, public buildings and temples are the
most important parts of this ancient city. Its walls were 2 meters wide and 6
meters high built with a technique called Emplekton. The Athena Temple was built
by Pythius the architect who also constructed the Mausoleum of Halicarnasus, one
of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Boeuleterion is the best
preserved building in Priene. The Boeule held its meetings here and took
decisions for the city's administration. There is a 5,000 capacity theater from
the 4th century B.C.
tea capital, surrounded by mountains and sea. Nearby Ayder Plateau has
streams, falls, 20 unique flowers.
Sardis or Sardes
was the ancient capital of the Lydian Empire and was the
world's richest city. First coins were made here. A good part of its wealth was
in gold washed down from the mountain by the river Pactolus, which the Lydians
collected in sheep skin spreads. The myth of the Golden Touch might be tied into
gold being found during King Midas' reign. Legend has it that a colossal tomb
was erected after him. Points of interest include the Temple of Artemis, a Roman
stadium, Roman baths, a theater, a 4th century synagogue with some intact mosaic
pavements and a gymnasium dating back to the 1st century. Sardes is one of the
Seven Churches: Revelation 3:1-6
Side was established by the Ionian Greeks in the 7th century B.C. It was
an infamous port where pirates would bring their loot and slaves for trade. Then
the Romans conquered it but due to continuos attacks by the Arabs and Christians
on Side, the inhabitants migrated to Antalya. The site became a ghost town until
1890 when Turkish refugees from Crete settled here. Now its antiquities fight
for space with everyday life in this powdery white sand beach resort. They
include the 15,000 seat theater, an agora, the Roman bath which is a museum
today and Temples of Dyonosis, Athena and Apollo.