Hierapolis Ancient City

Discover Denizli and visit ancient Hierapolis

Archaeological Site of Hierapolis

Hierapolis is a well preserved ancient city located on the top of Pamukkale and is an outstanding world heritage site. It was founded in 2nd century BC by Eumenes II, King of Pergamon.


The ancient city of Hierapolis is believed to have been founded by Eumenies II, the King of Pergamum, in the 2nd century BC, and to have been named after Hiera, the beautiful wife of Telephos, the legendary founder of Pergamon.

The city was attached to the Asia province of Roman Empire in 129 BC and administrated by proconsuls. The city saw its most brilliant years between 96 and 162 AD and it was attached to Phrygia Pacatiana in the 3rd century AD.

Hierapolis played an important role in spreading Christianity in Anatolia, and it was the place where Phillip, one of the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, died. For this reason, Hierapolis became an important religious centre in the 4th century AD. Later it assumed the title of the Guide of the East and Hierapolis came under the rule of Eastern Roman Empire in 395 AD, and became a metropolitan bishopric.

The name Hierapolis also means the sacred city.

Ancient Theatre

The ancient theatre of Hierapolis was replaced with the old theatre in the northern part of the city and was built by using architectural pieces from the old theatre. It has a capacity of 10.000 people and is nearly 1800 years old. The theatre is the only example of Roman theatres in the Mediterranean which was preserved with all its architectural materials.

Archaeological Ruins

It has a necropolis, the Domitian Gate, the theatre with reliefs depicting various mythological scenes, the Frontinus Street, the agora, the North Byzantine Gate, the gymnasium, the fountain with Triton, the Apollo sacred site, the water channels and nymphea, the city walls, the Martyrium of St. Phillip and bridge, the Column Church, the ruins of basilica and Roman baths. These are still standing in all their glory.

The tomb belonging to St. Phillip was found during the excavation work carried out at the Church of St. Phillip between 2010-2013. In addition, Ploutonion was located to the south of Apollo sacred site.

UNESCO World Heritage

The sacred Hierapolis of Phrygia, which is one of the antique cities of the Aegean, was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with Pamukkale in 1988.

  • Official Name: Hierapolis
  • Architectural Type: Ancient City
  • Date of Inscription: 1988
  • Category: Cultural
  • Reference: 485
  • Location: Denizli, Turkey
Archaeological Site of Hierapolis
Domitian Gate, Pamukkale, Denizli