This Phrygian city lies on a high plateau above the river Lykos, a tributary of the upper Maeander. The name Hierapolis means “sacred city.” Hot springs and strange vapors rising from a cave explain the belief, in prehistoric times, that this was the entrance to the underworld kingdom of Hades. Creating a powerful duality, the ground beside this symbol of darkness became a sanctuary of Apollo, the god of wisdom and music, associated with light. The city’s position at the junction of trade routes from the Aegean Sea to eastern Anatolia and the Royal Road from Susa in Persia to Sardis and the coast brought wealth from trade. The rich agricultural land of the Lykos valley supported a large population; flocks of sheep that thrived there and the lucrative wool trade also ensured prosperity.

The water gushed from springs at a temperature of 35c (95 F), laden with calcium bicarbonate, cascaded over the edge of cliffs below the classical city. In the course of countless millennia, it laid down beds of travertine, creating a fantastic landscape of terraced pools with stalactites at their edges. This process provided vast quantities of stone for the architecture of Hierapolis. You can book Pamukkale and Hierapolis Ancient City Tour with Romos Travel.

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