Day Six, Laodicea, Pamukkale, Turkey
I was very impressed today with the beauty I encountered of historic ruins and natural wonders.
The archaeological work being done at Laodicea at present is impressive. They have discovered over this last year that it was a very religious city, having unearthed the ancient ruins of many churches!
Thanks to archaeologists, the Temple of Apollo once again rises in Laodicea.
Dating to the 2nd Century AD, this was the main temple of Laodicea. When the temple reached Christian times, it was re-used as a religious archive building until an earthquake brought the building down in 494 AD.
Much work is being done to excavate and rebuild significant portions of Laodicea. Here you can see in the foreground orderly collections of ancient stone, marble and pottery fragments. At the back you can see a large crane setting up the pillars that once lay in piles.
Just a short distance from Laodicea is the historic region of PAMUKKALE.
Modern day Pamukkale stands out like a ski field in the tropics. “Pamukkale” means Cotton Castle in Turkish. It is only as one gets up close that you realize the dazzling white mountainside is in fact years and years of lime deposit left by some 17 hot water springs ranging in temperature from 35c – 100c that flow down the mountainside.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16
In John’s day too, Hierapolis (Now Pamukkale) was a source of thermal hot water, some of which was piped across the valley for three miles and into Laodicea, arriving distinctively lukewarm. In contrast, it is thought the city also piped water, cold water, from across the opposite valley, from Colossae, which was 11 miles away. Hence the Lord’s metaphorical admonition to be either hot or cold, but not lukewarm.
People enjoying the mineral rich hot springs
Here in the background you can see the present day city that is now positioned between Pamukkale and ancient Laodicea.
Just a short walk from the spectacular waters are the ruins of Hierapolis. Just up the hill I took this photo of what is said to be Saint Philip's tomb and church. The Martyrion was built at the end of the 4th or at the beginning of the 5th century on an area measuring 20 by 20 metres (66 by 66 ft). It was erected in honour of Saint Philip who was killed in Hierapolis. It became an important sanctuary when Christianity was adopted as an official religion. Was this Philip, one of the twelve apostles, or a later Philip who was a Christian evangelist mentioned in the book of Acts? This has been the question.
Philip is said to have been martyred in Hierapolis by being crucified upside-down, or by being hung upside down by his ankles from a tree. The building dates from the 5th century CE. It was said that St. Philip was buried in what is now the center of the building.
I happened to be at the right place and the right time to capture this sunset behind this burial chamber that is surrounded by the flow of lime rich Pamukkale water.
Keywords: Burial, Crypt, Hierapolis, Laodicea, Lime deposit, Pamukkale, Saint Philip, Sun set, Tomb, Turkey, archaeology, hot springs
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