Turkey: Hierapolis, Pamukkale
Pergamon King Attalos II gave the city its name after wife of Mysius Telephus, the founder of Pergamon Empire, Hieara. The city has thermal springs, the oldest is named Apollonis, in tribute to mother of a king of Pergamon.
The city of Hierapolis is located near thermal springs in Turkey in Anatolia . It was constructed according to plans known as Hippodomes (grate plan), except for other things there were also public spa and local redundant water was led to households. Healing springs were well-known for their healing effects on rheumatic and neural diseases, clogged vessels and irregular blood pressure. Monumental constructions of the city, including a shopping mall, were on the main avenue.
In the northern part of the city you can find a main gate built by Emperor Domician. According the then tradition there was placed a cemetery in front of the main gate. The city center was devoted to entertainment - mainly festivals in tribute to god Apollo, athletics competitions and music Until today attempts to find out the exact foundation date of Hierapolis however, extant documents say Pergamon King Attalos III left his kingdom, including Hierapolis, to Rome. Another interesting thing happened in the year 40 A.D. when one of disciples of Christ’s Apostles, St Phillip, was killed there in 87 A.D.
The most fascinating period of Hierapolis happened during the rules of Emperors Antonius Pius, Septimus Severus and his son Caracalla. During the rule of Emperor Constantinus the city flourished.
The land was troubled by a large and devastating earthquake that cause gradual decay of the city. Eventually, the city was destroyed including its fortification. Its new walls were built only the rule of the Roman Empire and they had an important role such as defense against the Turks.
The city perished around the year 1354 A.D. when it was totally destroyed and damaged by mutuall wars and natural disasters. The inhabitants of Hierapolis were leaving and moving off the city and this ceased its existence.
Pamukkale (a cotton castle) is an area with thermal springs and is part of Hierapolis. The springs are springing to the surface north from Denizli and on the south side of Salpak mountains and flows across four kilometer long terrace, thus they create a unique beauty of local lakes. The springs are springing to the surface from various places and from time immemorial they left calcium sediments and they create so-called travertines. Today, lakes with springs are protected and if you want you can enter these lakes, it is allowed to do so without shoes. I had tried that but I didn’t feel I became younger.
Along the whole Pamukkale to the main gate of Hierapolis and the cemetery goes a very nice walk 4 kilometers long. In the course of time you can admire not only Pamukkale’s beauty but also partially uncovered ruins of the city of Hierapolis, once very beautiful city.
Right by Pamukkale there is possibility to refresh oneself and to sit down for a while- By a box office in front of the entrance you can see some stands with souvenirs with any kind of goods including a book about Pamukkale in the Czech language. It is better to not to left your shopping for the last minute but the most important things you can buy in larger cities where prices are much lower. However, if you buy a book for any price you will find out you make a good deal. Not only you will have a souvenir but you will learn many new information, very useful if you don’t have a guide. Pamukkale is a part of the UNESCO world heritage.
Text/photo: Pavel Vojtíšek
Izmir (also known as Smyrna) has been settled for five and half millennia. The city is located in Anatolia along the bay which is connected with the Mediterranean Sea. The location of the city mean it had experienced rule of many civilizations and empires. The last of them, the Ottoman Empire, conquered Izmir in 1389, in the time when it still was a part of the decaying Byzantine Empire.
We just enter the city of Konya, the capital of former Seljuk empire. I step off from a bus at a bus station. I pick up my map of the city and head to a tower that shows me the way to the museum of Mevlana. The city spreads on a plateau surrounded with mountains.
Many roads cross Central Anatolia. The most famous is the Silk Road. The Sejluks built there traveller’s inns or also called caravanserais to boost trade as it would protect travelling traders.
For many centuries, Anatolia was a center of Chrisianity, mostly thanks to Apostle Paul and his missionary expeditions. His activity took place mostly around the year 41 AD. Christianity spread due to fertile ground it found in Cappadocia.
My journey now goes across ticket barriers to the museum compound, and then to the St Barbora church, who became a Christian against the will of her father. Initially, he imprisoned her and then killed her. Legend has it that he was struck by lightning for this.
I had my balloon flight above Cappadocia at last. In my perspective, it is there where to do such thing is the best. We were at the place at 5.15 in the morning. There were more than 50 balloons being prepared for flights!
Today I arrive from the historical town of Afrodisias to the small village of Pamukkale often visited by holidaymakers.
Efes is the most preserved antique city in Turkey and it is rightfully one of the most popular spots. This place was known already in the 2nd century BCE. More than 250 thousand people lived there during its greatest time. In the present, thousands of tourists come here to admire what is left of fascinating buildings. Today, you walk with us on its marble pavement.
I knew that Turkey's largest city offers a many things to do and to see. But it totally surprised me. One week there was like nothing. I can imagine that I would discover even more of local streets, monuments, gastronomy and modern parts much longer. Let's visit Istanbul through video and photos together.
I wanted to visit Cappadocia, a land of beautiful horses as the Hittites. I bought a ticket bus and rode from Bodrum to Antalya where I slept over. On the following day I rode across the town of Konya where I visited caravanserai (an oriental pub by main roads where members of caravans and their animals ate) and the museum of Mevlana.
Once again I continue by dolmush to Turgutreis to a memorial to an admiral, and than I walk trough a green park to the port. Then I hitchhike another dolmush and go north to Gümüşlük where the flooded city of Myndos is located.
Right now I have been sitting on a bench on a railroad station. I am waiting impatiently for our bus to get started on a direction to Istanbul. I will see it with my naked eye, finally! This magnificent city attracts every traveler looking forward to fabulous adventure!
We are at the horse market. If you have imagination, you can still hear horses. It is here where the Hippodrome used to stand, it was a racing circuit for chariots of four horses. The race took place every year and the Caesar attended it every time. The audience divided into two groups, greens – regular citizens; and blues – nobility.
With so many memories from yesterday we slept so well. Now we are about to have delicious Turkish breakfast, i.e. white cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, bread… And black tea with much sugar. And we are ready to go. It is like we are invited to see the sultan personally in his Topkapi Palace.
Now we go downhill to the harbor. We embark a ferry and choose a bench on the upper deck. Soon the ship set sail. The name Bosporus means Cow ford. According the legend, there live beautiful princess Io in ancient Greece.
We cruise around the Ortakoy Mosque built by Sultan Abdulmecid in 1853. The construction was done by his architect Nokogos Balayn. It is in the baroque style and it is situated in the European part of the Bosporus. Now we flow under the Bosporus bridge built in 1973 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.
We have just landed. I take a deep breath. Finally we are at the Bodrum Airport. We get into a bus and 40 minutes later ride downhill to Bodrum. The air has a salty smell of distant lends, colors have numerous shades, and azure horizon seamlessly changes to the sky.
Right now I pass a shop with ice-cream made in Bodrum. I cant miss this place. I take sour cherry, watermelon, and tangerine called dondrumu in Turkish. I continue slightly uphill to less glamorous neighborhood in Bodrum. I go up until a low white wall that surrounds famous Mausoleum in Halikarnassos.
At the theater once again I try to hitchhike a dolmush and continue to Gumbet, another bay beyond Bodrum. I go there to see the Myndos gate. From there a road to the city of Myndos ran. The gate was on a strategically significant location.
As we mentioned in the previous, opening article, the most visitors are far from attracting its historic center to Istanbul. Whether it is the Hagia Sophia mosque, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Topkapi Palace, or just its unforgettable atmosphere in narrow, hilly streets with countless shops. Let's get rid of our article and video.
This popular destination is to be found on two continents – Europe and Asia.
Pamukkale, a location of thermal springs, is a part of Hierapolis. Springs reach the surfac...