Travelogue- Hierapolis

 Travelogue- Hierapolis

By Augusto A. Kho

Heliopolis, Pamukkale, Turkey

June 13, 2017 (Tuesday)

Updated: July 11, 2017 (Tuesday); 1:30 P.M.





Peps: We arrived in Pamukkale at early evening probably around 8 yet you see the sun shining bright still. Pamukkale is a place where there is flourishing numbers of spring resorts practically everywhere. Our buses stopped for a very brief stopover, mostly to take some snap shots. On our right is gigantic, luminous ice-coloured mountainous terrain but as our tourist guide Emile Meltem said, there is no snow in Turkey.





7:50 A.M.

While we were on the breakfast dining table, two of our diners shared that 6.2 earthquake hits coast of Izmir when we left while we were heading northeast of Turkey called, Pamukkale. Is it our prayers in Smyrna or Izmir have awakened the ancient gods? Will there be an end time church rising on this Last Days from Izmir?


Emile Meltem

8:45 AM

My travel agency called me up. They said you' re needing a visa in Patmos because it is a part of Greece. Anybody who have a Greek visa? Oh nobody. We will have a problem then... Let me call our office then and ask them what they can do? Heliopolis

That is an ancient city established by Hellenistic in 3rd BC. It is also under the Roman Empire. They built Roman administrative buildings, Roman bath, etc. Heliopolis became a major city in Roman era.


Laodicea and also Colossae are parts of Heliopolis. The valley at your right is a fertile and major agricultural farmland in Turkey. From there, water flows to River Meyender that comes to this way that is attach to Lycos River passing three cities.


Three cities of Lycos : Heliopolis, Laodicea, and Colossae. Colossae is smaller city and unexcavated. Laodicea has marvelling sights with more excavations and new archaeological information. These three cities in this river are very important in times.



Heliopolis existed since the Roman Empire on 3rd AD. Heliopolis is considered a natural wonder because of thermal water listed in UNESCO Heritage list. It is honour given to country once sights is listed down.


Are you familiar with UNESCO? Oh your country is also listed under UNESCO. What UNESCO does is to send researchers once every two years and they would check the sights whether it is preserved or not. This place has been exposed to tourism in 1970s. Tourism is now new in Turkey. Sacrophagus are found on this place also.


(PEPS: sacropagus are stone-coffins typically inscribed or adorned with ancient inscriptions from Egypt, Rome and Greece).


There is thermal water everywhere. So they put all these hotels in the 1960's. I mean huge, big hotels.


But in 1990's as they kept using this source of water it eventually dried up. The water also lost its true natural colour and turned white and became calcium.


With this came lots of protest against environment. Until it became nationwide issue. It was in fact a revolution. These five huge hotels were removed in this area. And they only preserved one. The one left was the hotel with a pool which is named after "Cleopatra." I was a tourist guide then in 1985. I've been in these hotels.



9:15 A.M.

I will show you the ruins. You can take photos on the theatre. Keep walking. New excavation found a new street. You will see channels, much natural channels. So many spring waters all the way from these mountains thus creating natural channels. Here are more water channels... All over, water is flowing.


There are ruins, here and there. This is a huge place. 35 years ago, there were hotels here in these woods. And I have my own private pool in my room.


This carbonate ice from thermal water is 13- Million years old. That is older than Roman Empire. This has been in this place for the ages...


It is not boiling hot but warm. Whats happening now is the amount of water is getting better unlike what I told you before that the water has dramatically decreased (receded). Now the water is increasing and it keep on flowing. Once every hour, waters are being restored to its original colour. The government is now controlling the area.


Follow me, we will go there. It is a Roman bath. I will tell it to you more later on. Nobody lives here. They open it only during daytime.


There is where we are... It is continuing slopes going down if you want to see more. This was built by Pergamum Kingdom. More constructions were made during Roman Period. That’s building on your left was once a Roman bath. This is what Roman became most famous for.


This is the Museum containing artefacts, pieces of jewels and others. They were only kept here only in this place. Look at this building with "Antique Pool,” signboard, yes, right there in the entrance.


That was once of the first five hotels built in 1960's. This hotel has been built right where the ancient place was. This is the only hotel out of those 5 huge hotels that is being preserved. Why? I will tell you later.


(PEPS: When I asked Emile Meltem whether those columns, pillars, and stone under the water of Cleopatra's Pool are all originals, she nodded her head for affirmation. And I felt sorry for the hotel owner or investors to mishandle such priceless archaeological relics).


That is where the remains of the fountain and the Temple of Apollo. Anyone who can walks with me, I can point out the details.


Plenty of archaeological facts there and some interesting plutonium. Pluto is god of the underworld. Poisonous gas is coming from the ground.


The ncient people does not recognize it and they associated the poisons with god Apollo together with the priests. So they offered animals and they will held their breath as they come closer to this site and offer blood and animal sacrifices. And they would come from this hole (called as plutonium) associating it as if they- the gods are coming back to life. This place is called Plutonium. The Temple of Apollo is right there. The Theatre there can hold 10,000 people.



The Ploutonion at Hierapolis (to the Greeks, they call it, "Place of Pluto". In Latin: Plutonium) or Pluto's Gate according to Francesco D'Andria, "Gate to Hell Found in Turkey". Discovery News dated 29 March 2013.


It is a ploutonion (a religious site dedicated to the god Pluto) (another name for the god Hades) in the ancient city of Hierapolis near Pamukkale in modern Turkey's Denizli Province. The site was discovered in 1965 by Italian archaeologists, who published reports on their excavations throughout the decade writes Luigi Piccardi (2007). "The AD 60 Denizli Basin earthquake and the apparition of Archangel Michael at Colossae (Aegean Turkey)". In Piccardi, L.; Masse, W. B. Myth and Geology. Special Publication. 273. Geological Society of London. p. 98.


In 2013, it was further explored by Italian archaeologists led by Francesco D'Andria, a professor of archaeology at the University of Salento as broadcasted by Lorenzi, Rossella on 29 March 2013) saying "Pluto's Gate Uncovered in Turkey" by Discovery News).


Farther, farther up to the theatre, there are stairs, where you find martyrdom of St. Philip. That was there? Those trees are blocking it. Can you see the remains? That where Philip was martyred. This is important pilgrimage site especially in Byzantine time.


Quite recently, that was four years ago they found the Tomb of Philip. They could not found it first. They looked to another place nearby not until they found the tomb.


There is another theatre. That one there on the slope of hill. Another gate is there with more Romans baths and many tombs. Most of the times, we normally spend at least two days here to explore Heliopolis.



Those are the things to see if you want to walk on ancient times, walking barefoot, be careful, too slippery. Walk on biblical times. We will go separate ways. Who will go with Mark? They will be going to St. Philip's Tomb. That is too far from here. You should be at the bus at 12:30 P.M. Who will go with me here? Oh many would like to go with Mark!



Archaeologist Mark Fairchild.

Mel (that is Meltem) said they are three ( 3 cities) in here. But actually there are four (4) cities : Heliopolis, Laodicea, Colossae, and Tripolis (which is further north, a newly excavated city). These are four wealthy cities during ancient times.


Most of the cities got only one (1) theatre. That is Hellenistic theatre. What was preserved most is Roman theatre. That is colonnaded lanes which is so expensive. They were marble.


Why those 4 cities are worthy? They are trading centres. There trade flows to the Aegean coast, they would come up here, others will be coming from interiors.. And they have found 4 agoras (markets) here... This is issue of money especially in Laodicea.


The Dionysian Gate is out there. You must be familiar of that name by this time now. He was an emperor who wanted to be worshipped.


(Peps: The Dionysia was a large festival in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus, the central events of which were the theatrical performances of dramatic tragedies and, from 487 BC, comedies. It was the second-most important festival after the Panathenaia. The Dionysia actually consisted of two related festivals, the Rural Dionysia and the City Dionysia, which took place in different parts of the year. They were also an essential part of the Dionysian Mysteries according to Brockett, Oscar Gross (1968). History of the Theatre. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. pp. 18–26)


Dionysius is also known as Baccus, the god of wine. Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility.


(PEPS: Dionysus; God of the vine, grape harvest, winemaking, wine, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre )


Heliopolis is the largest in Turkey. This place is so massive. There are plenty of Jewish tombs and menorahs. That's important. You know that place is what more important to see when there is a Jewish presence.


Paul is NOT the founding fathers of these churches - Colossae and Laodicea . It was Epaphroditus or Epaphras were the ones who established these churches (Phil. 2:25; 4:18; 4:23; Colossians 1:7' 4:12; Philemon 1:23). Epaphratus is the disciple of Paul. That is why it says almost all that are in Asia have heard the word of God, "And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks," (Acts 19:10)



(PEPS: "Asia" in Greek "Asia" or "orient" refers to "proconsular Asia embracing Mysia, Lydia, Phrygia, and Caria corresponding closely to Turkey today". Strong call it "Asia Minor.").


These four cities was evangelised by Epaphras and he knew the apostles. He wrote 5 books of what Jesus said. Ephaphras was seen talking with the apostles and he collected 5 volumes of what Christ was taught. Sadly, nothing happens. But only tidbits were preserved like Eusebius wrote little about Ephaphras writings. "A pastor in Christian" writes there when Papios when Jesus died.




Plutonium, one of entrances of hell. Jesus said "The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church." Those who want to go to Philip tomb, you can go says Emile Meltex.


These are the Roman baths.. Heiropolis of Phrygia was built in 2nd AD. There was one true person named Papias a bishop from Laodicea. This is his tombstone.


(PEPS: Papias seemingly was a true Christian. History and traditions says he was a leader in the city in Asia Minor called Hierapolis. There were other apparent true Christian leaders from there including Apolinaris and the Apostle Philip (who reportedly died there). The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that Papias was Bishop of Hierapolis (close to Laodicea and Colossae in the valley of the Lycus in Phrygia) and Apostolic Father, called by St. Irenaeus "a hearer of John, and companion of Polycarp, a man of old time".



Papias was called an Apostolic Father, Bishop of Hierapolis (modern Pamukkale, Turkey), and author who lived c. 60–130 AD. It was Papias who wrote the Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord in five books. This work, which is lost apart from brief excerpts of Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 180) and Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 320), is an important early source on Christian oral tradition and especially on the origins of the canonical Gospels. Very little is known of Papias apart from what can be inferred from his own writings. He is described as "an ancient man who was a hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp" by Polycarp's disciple Irenaeus (c. 180) according to historian, Eusebius.


Tripolis is a part of the donations by Marc Antony to Cleopatra. 117–138 CE: Under Emperor Hadrian. Tripolis has a transitional mediterranean/continental climate).



Faustina Gate

We are passing by Faustina Gate. This is original gate of the city. And that is Antique Pool known as Cleopatra Pool. Look at those minerals on this water... According to chemical analysis it consist of the following - selenium, potassium; sodium, calcium, manganese, ammonium, iron and many more.


There were all ancient pillars stood where the modern hotel was built. And it was called Cleopatra's Pool.


(Peps: Faustina is a name of a saint. The name "Faustina", meaning "fortunate" or "blessed", may have been intended as a feminine form of Faustinus, the name of both the martyrs Faustinus and Jovita according to writer, Torretto.)



Cleopatra Pool.

Here is Cleopatra’s Pool. These are original ancient pillars and columns are hewn down under the pool water. This is where the priests walk in...Do you see these paths? That’s Temple of Apollo. Apollo is chief deity of Hierapolis. They holed up on these holes.


The Church told us that Philip came to Asia Minor. Traditions tell us the proconsul wife was terribly ill and she was healed by Philip's healing ministry. She then became a Christian but not her husband. Philip was killed by consul during Dionysian rule. If you are a ruler, you must be loyal to the Emperor of Rome. The Italian archaeologists excavated this five (5) years ago. Philip was crucified upside down. Praetorium is found here in octagonal shape. Holy Sepulchre is also octagonal structure. Helena is when big events takes place.


(PEPS: Praetorium. The Greek word (praitorion) thus rendered in Mark 15:16 is rendered "common hall" ( Matthew 27:27, marg., "governor's house"), "judgment hall," ( John 18 .).



Daniel Balais led the Prayer

Thank Lord for the life of Philip who was the first cultural missionary.


Thank you for the Philippines that is named after Philip the evangelist, and also being named after King Philip 11 of Spain. Thank you Lord that we just celebrated our 400 years or Jubilee. Thank for the blood of the martyrs as the seed of the Church... Even Philips means " love of horses, " I pray that your swift love like those of horses will encompasses the Philippines to evangelize o other countries like a swift horse to the Middle East, Himalayas, Indochina , China, with such a galloping speed. Every power and the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Philippines.


You said Philippines is a 7-head dragon slayer. As a covenant, let this delegation will be fulfilled right here and Philippines' calling which is derived from Philip the evangelist. May we sing this song, "Philippines is for Christ." ...Let heaven declare your glory...


Thank you lord that you did not allow us to become a Muslim country and sent Christianity in the Phil's and we became Asia's first Christian nation even we are surrounded with Muslim nations.


We the end time generation here comes to the threshold of our nation. As we come here to cry out for Abraham even to Ismail, come home Ismail come home Ismail. We are of the same sins and shortcomings, yet you have called us.


Philippines called us as Philadelphia, you called us an evangelist to Middle East, to China, we stand in front of tomb of Philip to fulfil such calling, in the name of Jesus.


Even Philip was used to evangelize the eunuch and translated him, so we follow you as a calling after Philip, the Philippines. We declare that the calling of the Phil's will be fulfilled in our generation.


Even the political condition and the spiritual condition in the Philippines will not prevent the portals of hell in terms of calling of the church. The fire of Spirit will come to the Philippines and consume the sins of the churches. Even you commended Philadelphia and Smyrna.


Our Destiny will be fulfilled in our generation. For this is the year of favour, restoration, and building up in Jesus name.