Sunday, July 19, 2009

Visiting the ruins of Hierapolis near Pamukkale

July 19
Ah, I am behind in my entires, so I am going back a few days ago to our visit of the ruins of Hierapolis. The feeling of stepping back, way back, in time was palpable as we walked up the ancient Roman road through this site. Much of the front end of the site was a graveyard, and since this was a very multicultural place, the burial sites vary as you move through this space. Sarcophgi lined the road, with Monica taking a moment to actually try one out. There were even round burial places, which you can see in one of the photos.

The theatre, though, was the highlight for me... it took my breath away. It is in remarkable condition, and the acoustics in this space were phenomenal. Gottfried told us about another similar theatre he had viewed years ago, and at that time the tour guide had dropped a coin from just a few inches from the floor of the stage. You could hear that coin all the way up to the top of the theatre, which holds 9,000 people. We had various reactions to being in this space. Some, like Craig, just wanted to sit in the quiet and absorb the sounds. Some, like Scott, wanted to recite Shakespeare from the arch directly behind the stage. We could hear his words all the way at the top of the theatre... And some, like Paul, just wanted to rejoice!

Monica, trying out one of the sarcophagi...

The public latrine provided another fascinating glimpse into Roman times. Apparently, the latrines were the place to meet, greet, and catch up on local gossip. The columned structure was awesome and Paul, especially, found the many anthorpological explanations a bit hard to believe...

All in all, a most glorious and satisfying day stumbling around the ruins of Hierapolis...


  1. Marianne,

    I am enjoying these posts, and so glad that you have the opportunity to be there, immersed in a culture that holds many surprises, I am sure. Your photos take my breath away, and I am marveling at the brightness of the sky and the smiles on your and your new friends' faces. So much to see and know and learn. It is obvious that you have a deep respect for each historcial site. The Roman ruins are my favorites -- but you have described all so beautifully, as only you can.

    Love and namaste,
    Mary Anna