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ONE OF OUR MOST BEAUTIFUL CITIES
With a history of 6000 years, its antique cities and the Pamukkale site, undoubtedly a natural wonder, Denizli is one of the most important tourism destinations in our country.
Denizli, that links Mediterranean Region to Central Anatolia, has been the constant junction of the Aegean for centuries. Its magnificent nature together with the advantage of its location; rivers, lakes, spring waters, mountains and plains created this fertile land.
Such a beautiful site, by all means, drew the attention of many civilizations since the antique ages and thus hosted many different cultures. This history and culture that has been accumulated in Denizli is today an immense heritage and great chance for all of us.
Denizli, that houses many antique cities, primarily Hierapolis and Laodikeia within its boundaries is today one of the most attractive destinations of the entire world, not only of Turkey. It is unquestionably valuable with Hierapolis and Pamukkale, the two sites that take part in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Apart from historical and cultural tours, in near future it is going to be one of the nominees for the biggest health centres of the world for thermal tourism with Pamukkale and Karahayıt. We are sure that the appearance of Denizli will change once again with the completion of these gigantic projects that are going to include especially Pamukkale and Karahayıt. With Hierapolis Antique City that hosts one of the biggest theatres of Turkey and Pamukkale Hierapolis Archaeological Museum, the site plays the leading part in the tour programmes organised by our agencies. And Laodikeia, has been undergoing restoration works at full speed in recent years, is becoming more and more attractive and growing with each and every column erected. We believe that when the restoration of Laodikeia Church within the antique city is completed and opened to visits a very important step shall be put forward in Culture Tourism and Denizli shall start competing with Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary. Atatürk and Ethnographic Museum, Kaklik and Keloglan Caves, Güney Waterfall, Akhan, Bogazici and Yazir Mosques that constitute different travel sites each more attractive than the other; availability of nature sports like paragliding and mountaineering and of course by all means its famous rooster and Buldan Fabric are the unique features of Denizli that must be seen.
MOUNTAINS, PLATEAUS AND PLAINS…
Denizli that rests in the Aegean Region is situated at the junction point of the roads that lead to the Mediterranean and Central Anatolia regions. The city is surrounded by Aydın and Manisa to the west, Uşak to the north, Burdur and Afyonkarahisar to the east and Muğla to the south.
The mountains that almost cover half of its surface add excitement to every corner of the city. The highest mountain is Honaz with 2,571 meters followed by Karcı, Akdağ, Bozdağ, Eşeler, Bulkaz, Elmadağ, Büyük (Grand) Çökelez and Beşparmak mountains. Plateaus and uplands at the skirts of the mountains meet with vast plains and intertwine with rivers of all sizes lead by Büyük (Grand) Menderes.
6000 YEARS OF PAST…
Traces of history in Denizli soil initiates in the years 4000 BC, at the Chalcolithic Period. In other words 6 thousand years before present time… The first settlement traces were met at the Beycesultan Mound, south of Çivril district. From this point of view Beycesultan can be regarded as the place where the history of Denizli started.
Historians record that the first civilisation inhabited on this land was the Arzawains. Although the centuries that followed the Arzawains stay in dark, traces of the past once again came to light with the foundlings of Collosai antique city and the Phrygians take stage. Followed by Lydians, Romans and Byzantines… After 1070 the Turkic Beylics started to reign the region. And as of 1429 the region completely governed by the Ottomans until 1923. With the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the region that was a lieutenant governorship of Aydın took its place in the political map as the City of Denizli. In the written sources the first name of Denizli was “Ladik” or “Lazik”. The name is believed to be driven from the antique city of Laodikeia: that is today a district of Denizli. On the other hand, we see that the famous wanderer Ibn-i Batuta calls “Ladik” as “Donguzlu” during his visit in 1333 which gives us a remarkable clue on the present name of the city. The word “Donguzlu” throughout time etymologically turned into “Tonguzlu, Donguzluğ, Tenguzluğ, Tonuzlu or Dinuzlu” words that sound close to each other but gradually changing in pronunciation and finally reaching Denizli. Although the region is known as “Ladik, Lazik, Lazikkiye”, which is believed to be driven form Laodikeia; the name of the city becomes Denizli as of 18th century.
THE ROOSTER OF DENİZLİ SINCE ANTIQUE AGES
Leave aside history, geography and fertile land – rooster springs to mind when Denizli is in question. Apart from the fame of the Denizli Rooster today, the image of rooster is carved in historical stones… This righteous fame that the roosters of Denizli won with their long crows was not taken into consideration in the Antique Ages but yet rooster figures were scratched in many places. For them rooster symbolised “young men”.
Today, rooster figures observed on the preserved tombstone at Pamukkale Hierapolis Archaeology Museum and on the monumental stone archway at Laodikeia draw the attention of almost every visitor.
REFLECTIONS OF HISTORY IN DENİZLİ
Beyond question Pamukkale is the first place recalled when Denizli is uttered. Pamukkale and roosters are the two indispensable symbols of the city, but the two antique cities of Denizli: Hierapolis and Laodikeia carry the traces of history from thousands of years to our time and gradually increase the fame of the region.
Hierapolis, the Sacred City of Hellenistic era, is situated 16 km north to Denizli city centre. The city was considered to be situated at an important site in its golden years in Antique Ages just as today. Hierapolis was an important centre of religion situated at the junction where the roads of trade met.
It was set up in the valley named Lycos, in the middle of Honaz (Kadmos), Çökelez and Babadağ (Salbakos) mountains that surround Denizli today.
In 3rd century BC there were four important Seleukos colonies in the region and Hierapolis was one of them. The other three colonies were Laodikeia, Psidya Antiocheia and Apameia. Two of these colonies, Hierapolis and Laodikeia are the two antique cities of Denizli that introduce us history of two thousand years. The Lycos valley, just as today was a valuable region of fertile land where Hierapolis was set up and on which agriculture and trade developed.
These valleys, once in the antique ages called Lycos, watered by Çürüksu (Lycos), a branch of the river Menderes, hosted many civilisations for thousands of years. Needless to say, today there are traces of innumerable antique cities in the lands of Denizli.