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Denizli Museum and Historical Ruins


The word “Travertine” comes from "Tivertino", which is the Roman period name of Tivoli in Italy, where there are large travertine sediments. Travertine is a rock that occurs with the sedimentation as a result of the multi-side chemical reaction depending on various reasons and environments.

The geological events that caused the occurrence of Pamukkale thermal source have impacted a large region. There are 17 hot water areas in the region and their temperatures vary in between 35 - 1000C. Pamukkale thermal source is a unit included in the region potential. The source is being used since archaic periods. The thermal water, after leaving the source, comes to the head of the travertine with a 320 m long canal and is deposited to the travertine layers, where there is a partial sedimentation of 60 - 70 metres and takes an average distance of 240 - 300 m.
Calcium carbonate, which is deposited in the layered pools and graded barriers, is in the form of a soft gel at the beginning. It hardens by time and converts into "travertine". But the visitors wandering and playing on the layers cause the crashing and distribution of the soft calcium carbonate and the destruction of the sedimentation balance.


Kırmızısu: It is in Karahayıt Town of Akköy District. It is approximately 5 km north of Pamukkale. Kırmızısu travertine has occurred around the thermal water at 60 degrees temperature. Due to the metal oxides in the thermal water, red, green and white coloured travertine layers occur. Until recent times, Karahayıt thermal springs served to internal tourism but they have gained importance with the increasing hotel facilities and have taken their place after Pamukkale. Karahayıt red water travertine covers an area of approximately 500 m. In terms of its natural beauty, it is one of the important tourism locations of the province worth seeing.

Archaic Laodikeia city that is 6 km north of Denizli Province is established at a very suitable point from a geographical point of view and is located in the south of the Lykos river. The name of the city is mostly referred to as "Laodikeia" at the site as “Lykos" in the archaic references. In accordance with the historian Plinius, Laodikeia has been constructed on the ruins of a village that was first called as Diospolis "City of Zeus" and then as Rhoas. The name Diospolis is the symbol of the importance given to Zeus cult there. The name Rhoas may belong to any of the native Anatolian languages.

In accordance with other archaic sources, the city has been established by Antiokhos II between the years 263 - 261 BC and the name of Antiokhos's wife, Laodike, has been given to the city. Laodikeia is one of the most important and famous cities of Anatolia in the 1st century BC. The big artistic works in the city belong to this period and the gladiator fights have made the city become more important. The Romans have given a special importance to Laodikeia. A famous statesman and preacher Cicerot came to this city in 50 BC and dealt with some legal problems of the city. Again at those dates, the Romans have made Laodikeia the centre of Kibyra conventus. The Roman Emperor Hadrianus visited the city in 129 AD and wrote letters to Rome from there.

Another piece of evidence showing how good the relations between the City and Rome were is the status, wealth and privileges that Zenon family had. A man named Polemon from this family was assigned as a director to Kilikia and Pontus by Antonius.
The inscriptions and coins provide information about the religious life of Laodikeia. Zeus Laodiokos figure seen on many coins belonging to the Empire period is the indication of the importance given to Zeus cult in this city. The information we have in relation with the late periods of Laodikeia is very limited.

A few texts provide information to us about the condition of Laodikeia during the initial periods. As is the case for other locations, Christianity affected the Jew community first.

The existence of the one of the seven famous churches of Small Asia in this city shows the importance of Christianity in this city. We do not know the reason why Laodikeia that was established near Goncalı and Eskihisar villages in the archaic period was completely abandoned. But it is not difficult to guess that big earthquakes played a role in this event. A very big earthquake that happened in 194 AD destroyed the city.
Buildings of Laodikeia

Big Theatre

It is constructed in the north-east of the archaic city, in a Greek theatre type and in a Roman style in compliance with the area. Its scene is completely destroyed but its cavea and orchestra are in good condition. It has a capacity of approximately 20.000 people.

Small Theatre
It is situated 300 m north-west of the Big theatre. It is constructed in Roman and Greek styles in compliance with the area. Its scene is completely destroyed and there are damages in its cavea and orchestra. It has a capacity of approximately 15.000 people.

Stadium and Gymnasium

It lies in the south-western part of the city in the east-west direction. The additional buildings and gymnasium have been constructed so as to constitute a whole. The length of the stadium constructed in 79 AD is 350m and its width is 60m. The building, which is constructed in the form of an amphitheatre, has 24-step sitting lines. A big part of it has been destroyed. An inscription indicating that the gymnasium was constructed in the 2nd century AD by the proconsul Gargilius Antioius and devoted to Emperor Hadrianus and his wife Sabina.

Monumental Fountain

It is located at the corner of the main and secondary streets of the city. It is made so as to have two sides. It has niches. It was repaired in the Byzantine Period.

Assembly Building

It is in south-west of the city. The monumental building having a rectangular plan lies in the east-west direction. The main entrance is on the eastern side. It is constructed with arch and vault system starting from the entrance. The upper parts of the building have been destroyed completely and the bearer elements have been partially destroyed.

Zeus Temple

It is located in the eastern part of the street with columns of the archaic Laodikeia city and between the small theatre and the nymphaeum but only parts of the ornamental elements can be seen.


It is constructed in the south of the street with columns. Only a part of the bearer parts is not damaged. Its main entrance is in the western side. In the middle part, eight pillars, four of which are arched and four of which are flat, have been used.


It is 40 km north of Denizli City centre. It is established in the east of Yenicekent Town of Buldan District, on the slopes between Büyük Menderes River and the town. It is connected to both Aegean shores and to Inner Anatolia and Mediterranean with Büyük Menderes plain opening towards west.

The city is 30 km to its peer Laodikeia, which is established on Çürüksu Valley in the south of it and 20 km from Hierapolis.
Tripoli is one of the border, trade and agriculture centres providing transportation to Karya and Frigia regions in Lidia region. Its establishment type and city understanding makes it one of the richest cities of the region. Tripoli is estimated to be established in the Lidian Period. There is no historical information relating to the Lidian, Persian and Hellenistic Periods yet. No ruins from these periods are encountered either. The ruins of the city have the Roman and Byzantine Period character in terms of style. The best samples of the monumental buildings are constructed in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. In accordance with Plinius, another name of the city is Apolloia. The names of goddess Letho, Letoia, Phthia games and Menderes River are found on the coins. Tripolis and its surroundings has been the scene for many earthquakes and wars in the history. The name of Tripolis being quoted in the list of Lidian Bishops shows that it was a city of a bishopship level.
Buildings of Tripolis

It is in the city centre. It is constructed as a Greek theatre in Roman style in compliance with the land. All of its parts are destroyed. It has a capacity of approximately 10.000 people.

It is approximately 200 m west of the theatre. It is outside the city walls. Its external walls are partially strong. The vaulted and arched internal parts are destroyed. Its parts can be determined. There are great niches in the thick walls.

City Building

It is approximately 150 m south of the bath. Only the base of it exists.

Fort and City Walls
Tripolis was surrounded with city walls and fort in the late Roman and Byzantine Periods. The walls of the city, which is established on a sloped land, are supported with towers, watch towers and thick walls. The wall continuing next to the theatre combines with the tower at the highest hill in the north of the city. The tower was used for both defence and watching the approaching enemies.


It is on the eastern and southern slopes of the wall. Here, there are rock graves, podium graves and sarcophagi.


It is 25 km east of Denizli Province, 2km north of Honaz District.

The highway going to Honaz from Organized Industrial Region that is at the 16th km of Denizli-Ankara Highway passes through Colossae city.
The archaic city was established in the north of Honaz (Kadmos) mountain, on the shore of Aksu Brook. It is on the south-eastern way that has been used since the Archaic Period. It is one of the most important centres in Big Frigia. According to Ksenophon, it is one of the six big cities of Frigia. It lived its bright eras under the Persian sovereignty. Beginning from the 2nd century BC, it lost its importance with the establishment of Heirapolis and Laodikeia. At the beginning of the 1st century AD, like in Laodikeia, wool and weaving industry developed greatly in this city too. However, the city was destroyed by the earthquake that happened in the 1st century AD in the Neron Period.
In the late Roman period, Hierapolis and Laodikeia became villages due to migration.

It was completely abandoned in 692 - 787 AD because of the establishment of the city Chonae located in the place of today's Honaz District centre. We learn from the ancient sources that St. Michael church existed in Chonae city. But there are no ruins today, except a fort ruin on the hill belonging to the Ottoman Period.

The ruins of Colossae archaic city are encountered in the lands at the ruin place that was acropolis and its surroundings. There are room and house type graves engraved in the rock in the region in the south of the ruin place.


The archaic city is in the area where Işıklı Town is located on Çivril-Dinar highway. The city was established in the name of Eumenes the 2nd, king of Bergama. Traces of the Archaic Period can be seen near the water spring that is in the south-east of Işıklı Town. The plain over the mountain region, which is called Sarıbaba Tepesi today, was used as a fort especially during the Byzantine Period. Eumeneia's necropolis is located on the slopes of this hill.


The city is on the borders of Vakıf village that is 10 km northwest of Tavas District. Residence is dense in the region surrounded by the water in the north. Herakleia Salbake is located at the skirts of Babadağ mountain range separating the Caria and Phrygia regions indicated in the archaic geography and looking to the current Tavas Plain. It is known as Caria city. Heraklia and Aphrodisias are separated by Tmelos (Kırkpınar) Brook as a natural border.

The river god of both cities is Tmelos. Heraklia is close to and of the same age as the cities Aphrodisias in its west, Apolloia and Tabai in its south, and Sebastopolis and Kidrama in its south-east. No information could be obtained from the archaic sources about the first establishment of the city. The important buildings of the city are the Roman Period city wall surrounding the city and the stadium.


It is between the wall surrounding the archaic city and the current Vakıf Village. Some steps belonging to the stadium in East-West direction can be seen on the slopes. The steps in the western side are completely destroyed.

Heraklia Hieron

It is 4 km east of Herakleia Salbake archaic city and 1 km north-east of the current Tavas - Kızılcabölük town, at the location called as Ören Sırtı and Kocapınar location. Hieron, which is located on the slope of Salbakos (Babadağ) has the form of a rectangular prism. Its four sides are surrounded with relief consisting of plates. Here, mythological scenes relating to Artemis, Apollo, Pan, Dionysus and Heracles are shown.


Attuda (Hisarköy) is located in Denizli Province, Sarayköy District and 17km south-west of the district.
In the Archaic Period, it was a border city between Caria and Phrygia. The shortest way connecting Tripolis and Laodikeia in Çürüksu Valley to Aphrodisias passes through Attuda. Although there is no precise information relating to the first establishment of the city, it is estimated to be of the same age as the cities established in Lykos Valley in the Hellenistic Period. It had an important role in establishing the commercial, economic and artistic connection between the cities in Lykos Valley and Aphrodisias.
It can be seen that the city established on a high hill surrounded by the two broo
ks coming from the east and west gave defence importance and kept the transportation road under control. It is written in the archaic sources that the Cult of Manhood existed in Attuda that a temple was constructed in the name of god and that there was a sculpture of god man on a horse in this temple. Furthermore, archaic sources indicate that Zeus, Apollo, Dionysus and Asclepius sculptures and Artemis Anaitis cult were existent in Attuda. It is mentioned in these sources that a special importance was given to Goddess Kybele in the temple belonging to Men Karou and Men Arrastos.

In the archaic city, coins were pressed in the pre-empire and post-empire period. Attuda inscription is shown on the one side of the coin, while the portraits of gods are shown on the other side of the coin.

Today, Hisarköy is located in the area where the archaic city was located; therefore, it is not possible to see any ruins on the surface. Some works belonging to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods are exhibited in the museum depot.


Apolloia archaic city and Medet Tumulus are in the residence area of Medet Village established on the plain that is 7 km west of Tavas District of Denizli Province.

Apolloia, which is established on the most efficient lands of Tavas Plain, is one of the archaic cities that have transportation to Karia region in the west through Tabai way, to Likia region in the south through Sebastopolis way, and to Phrygia region in the east through Tavas way. Although there are no precise documents relating to the establishment of Apolloia archaic city, when the tumulus findings were examined, it was discovered that residence goes back to the Bronze Era and it has been uninterruptedly continued.

It is understood that the city took the name "Apolloia" in the Hellenistic Period and lived its most magnificent time in the Roman Period. In the courtyard, where the village mosque is located, there are the bases and inscriptions of Apollo temple belonging to the Hadrianus Period. We see that the city pressed coins in its own name between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD and that there are godly motifs on those coins.


Tabai, which is located at the 78th km of Denizli - Muğla highway, has the appearance of a natural fort as can be understood from its name. The city is among the city states established in Anatolia after Alexander the Great. Tabai has been subject to an uninterrupted residence since the Hellenistic Period until today (including the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman Periods). Tabai pressed coins in its own name in the Archaic Period. The front sides of the coins, which were pressed first from silver and then from bronze, have Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Herakles and Dionysus figures; their back sides have the inscription "TABENON" and the figures such as a bull representing the city or an abundance horn. The ruins that have been able to survive until the present day are the Roman Bath and the Cevherpaşa Mosque belonging to the Ottoman Period.


Dionysopolis city, which is near Ortaköy Town that is 8 km north-west of Çal District of Denizli Province, was established in the "Seleukos" period of the Syrian kingdom and then went under the sovereignty of the Bergama Kingdom. There are not many ruins seen on the surface today.
Apollo Lermenos Temple

It is situated 4 km to Bahadınlar Village. The temple, which is in the middle of the hill extending to Menderes Valley, has a rectangular plan. The bases of the building belong to the Hellenistic Period and the upper parts of the building belong to the Roman period.
The temple is understood from a series of column bases to have a peripterous plan. A part of the portico in the west of the temple is undamaged. From the inscription found in the Mosque of Bahadınlar Village, it is understood that the portico was constructed in the Domitianus period by the slaves of Apollo Lermenos temple and devoted to Apollo. From the inscription on the sculpture bases found in Hieron, it is understood that this location was a very important cult centre. The cult is known as Apollo Lermenos "Double Axe" cult.


Sebastopolis is 2 km east of Kızılca town that is 19 km south of Tavas District of Denizli Province. Although the first establishment of the archaic city is not known, the ruins on the surface belong to the Roman and Byzantine Periods. The ruins are Tumulus Hill, stadium and necropolis.


 Trapezopolis is located in Boludüzü location of Bekirler Village of Babadağ District of Denizli Province. The archaic city is understood to be established in accordance with the geographical condition of the land on the plain stretching from north towards south. The ruins are completely under soil. The ruins on the surface show the characteristics of the Roman and Byzantine periods.

It is in Güney District of Denizli Province. It is estimated to be established on the plains in the north of today's Güney District centre. But no ruins are encountered today.


It is near Menteş Village of Çivril District of Denizli province, at a distance of 4 km to the district centre. The tumulus lying in East - West direction has a height of 25 m on an area of 13 hectares. The Excavation Team of English Archaeology Institute that came in 1954 to look for Arzawa Kingdom's capital and started excavation works in Beycesultan Tumulus continued those works until 1959. In these excavations, many marble, bronze, bone and ceramic works belonging to the Late Calcolithic, First and Mid Bronze Eras were found. A very small part of the findings that were found in Beycesultan Tumulus excavation are exhibited in the Anatolian Civilizations Museum and a big part of them are exhibited in Hierapolis Archaeology Museum.


The khan that is at the 7th km of Denizli-Afyon highway is at the end of the road, just in the entrance of the village bearing the same name. Akhan, which is one of the latest caravansaries of the Anatolian Seljuks in the west, complies with the Sultan khans scheme, but it is a very small khan.

The khan has two inscriptions. Its closed part was completed in 1253 (651 in Islamic calendar) and the courtyard was completed in 1254 (652 in Islamic calendar). The person who had the caravansary constructed is the Governor Seyfettin Karasungur Bin Abdullah. The caravansary, which does not show a symmetrical plan, consists of open and closed parts. It is constructed on a total area of 1100 m and consists of a square courtyard and a deepening rectangular hall. The closed location is divided into three parts with two rows of pillars. The mid part is larger and higher than the side parts. The upper part is closed with a vault. Its portal having a sharp arch and a niche shape has gone half metred outside with its low arched entrance door.

In spite of the symmetrical arrangement of the closed location, we meet an asymmetric plan in the courtyard. Although there are double-floored locations, a liwan and two closed units in the division on the right of the courtyard entrance, there are porches and two vaulted locations on the corner just near the closed location on the other side. The courtyard portal of the khan looks magnificent with its geometric and plastic ornaments.


In accordance with the seven - line inscription on the portal of this khan, which is located in Çardak District centre of Denizli Province, at the end of Denizli - Afyon highway, it was constructed by Esededdin Ayaz Bin Abdullah el Şahabi, who was a slave of Alaaddin Keykubat set free by him and who was one of his emirs, at the time of Alaaddin Keykubat. It was completed in Ramadan of 1230 (627 in accordance with Islamic Calendar) and was constructed as "Ribat" in accordance with its inscription. The khan, which was constructed in west - east direction forms a simplified similar of sultan khans with its very large, square courtyard and six divisions, its hall consisting of five parts. The closed part is in west - east axis and has a rectangular plan. By using five pillars in each row in four rows, five parts have been formed. The mid part that is on the door axis is larger than the side parts. The vault of this part is higher than the vaults of the other parts. The ornamental elements of the hall consist of the reliefs on the pillar caps of the mid part. Bull head, double fish and human head motifs are seen on the collected ornaments.

A small part of the body walls of the courtyard are not damaged. No traces of the liwan and entrance portal that should exist here are left. The portal of the hall projecting outwards from the body walls surrounded with borders consisting of geometric motifs forms a simple composition. There is one lion figure on both sides of the inscription and this type of composition is often seen in Seljuk khans. There are quadruple node motifs occurring as the result of the intersection of octagonals having broken sides on the portal border. From the sources, we learn that the khan was called as "HANABAT" during the period when it belonged to Dinar district and was used as a grain silo during the Independence War.


Although no inscriptions indicating the date of the mosque that is 300 m to the town near Çivril - Emirhisar road have been met, it is understood that this mosque belongs to the 13th century Rulers period (judging) from its plan and material characteristics. The mosque has a single dome plan. As construction material, collected materials belonging to the Roman period have been used abundantly. In the mosque, the only thing that can be seen as ornament is the palmet lines on the dome arches. The conical hat of the minaret that is on north - east corner of the mosque does not exist today. There are large cracks on its body. The tomb is a single - location building that is approximately 5 m to the mosque. There are four graves in this tomb, the owners of which are not known. This building group is important both in reflecting the architecture of the 13th century Rulers period and in reflecting two cultures with the collected materials in its body.


In accordance with the inscription on its entrance door, the mosque was constructed by a person named Hacı Ömer Efendi in 1801. The mosque, having a rectangular shape, is divided into three parts in niche axis via ten wooden columns, six of which are independent. The mosque reminds the 13th century Seljuk mosques having wooden pillars with its architectural and ornamental characteristics. The walls of the mosque, which show a rich and varying condition in terms of its ornaments, are ornamented with pictures in the form of the three-row panels. In these pictures, where perspective is tried, miniature style makes us feel its heaviness. It is observed that ostentation is avoided and a more airy atmosphere is tried to be created in these pictures. Mosque, still-life, plant and tree motifs are especially used in these pictures. Furthermore, the ceiling of the mosque is divided into small squares with laths and these squares are ornamented with plant motifs distributed with certain intervals.


The mosque, which is 5 km of Çivril District, was constructed by a person called Ömer Ağa in 1882 according to the inscription on its entrance door. The worship location of the two-location mosque is divided into three parts in deepening direction. A rectangular plan of the last community place and its exterior show a very simple architectural style. On the contrary to this simple appearance on the outer surface, the walls of the last community place attract attention by rich ornament inside. The surfaces of the walls are adorned with sharp arches and various compositions are placed in these arches. Stylized plant motifs, mosque motifs and fruit motifs are among the picture samples that can be seen. This is one of the samples that survived in this city among those mosques that have walls with pictures, which became a fashion in the 18th and 19th century Ottoman architecture, especially in Anatolia.


Güney Waterfall is on the borders of Denizli Province, Güney District and Cindere Village. It is near the Menderes River passing from 4km south of Güney District. The Waterfall is one of the spots worth seeing in terms of its natural beauty.


It is on the plateau of Buldan District of Denizli Province. It is surrounded with forests and it is one of the places worth seeing in terms of its natural beauty.


One of the places that can be visited in Denizli centre is the old bazaar called Kaleiçi. It is surrounded with the city walls that are approximately 800 metres long and 1 metre thick. The construction date of the city walls is known to be in the Byzantine period before the Turks' arrival in Anatolia. The residence in Kaleiçi is known to begin in the 11th century after Laodikeia, which is 5km of this location, was abandoned.