Laodikeia is one of the cities of Anatolia in the 1st century BC.
The ancient city of Laodikeia, located 6 km north of Denizli province, was established at a very convenient geographic point and south of the Lykos river. The name of the city is mentioned as “Laodikeia on the shore of Lykos” in ancient sources. According to other ancient sources, the city was built between 261-263 BC. It was founded by Antiochus and named after Antiokhos’ wife, Laodike.
It is thought that the major works of art in the city belong to the 1st century BC. The Romans also attached special importance to Laodikeia and made it the center of Kıbyra (Gölhisar-Horzum) Conventus . A series of high-quality coins were minted in Laodikeia during the reign of Emperor Caracalla. Many monumental buildings were built in the city with the contributions of the people of Laodikeia. The fact that one of the 7 famous churches of Little Asia is located in this city shows how important Christianity is here. A huge earthquake that took place in 60 AD destroyed the city.
According to Strabon, Leodikya was raising a type of sheep famous for the softness of raven-black wool. The author also explains that these animals provide great income to Leodikians. The city has also developed a well-known textile industry. A type of fabric called “Laodicean” is mentioned in the Diocletian edict. The tunics made in Leodikya and known as “Trimita” were so famous that the city was called “Trimitaria”. The excavations in Leodikya were carried out between 1961-1963 by the researchers of the Canadian Quebec Laval University, under the direction of Jean des Gagniers, and a very interesting fountain structure was completely unearthed. These successful works have been published, especially with a section containing very good studies on the fountain structure.
It was built in the northeastern part of the ancient city in the Roman style of construction in accordance with the Greek theater-type land. Its scene is completely destroyed and its cavea and orchestra are in very good condition. It has approximately 20,000 people.
It is located about 300 meters northwest of the great theater. It was built in the Roman style, in accordance with the Greek theater type of land. Its scene has been completely destroyed, and there are deteriorations in its cavea and orchestra. It is large enough to accommodate approximately 15,000 people.
It is located on the corner of the main street and the side street of the city. It is a Roman period structure. It has a two-sided pool and niches. It was repaired during the Byzantine period.
In the monumental fountain, excavations were carried out by French archaeologists on behalf of Quebec University of Canada between 1961-1963. Çeşme is on the corner of Syria Avenue and the street that cuts it in the southwest direction and runs towards the stadium. It consists of a square pool in the corner and two niche pools surrounding it on both sides, one facing north and the other facing west. The water brought to the fountain from the second main distribution terminal via pipes was collected in two tanks. The fountain was built in honor of the Roman Emperor Caracalla’s (211-217 AD) visit to Laodikeia in AD 215, after which it underwent four repair phases one after the other. The last repair was made at the beginning of the 5th century AD. Later, the fountain structure was transformed into a baptistery. The parapet walls of the pool are decorated with reliefs telling about mythological subjects, such as Theseus killing Minatauros and Zeus kidnapping Ganimedes. In the area where the fountain structure is located, architectural pieces such as architrave, architrave-frieze blocks, cantilever geison, Attic Ionic bases with post ament, twisted grooved column fragments, embossed ceiling cassettes are common. It is possible to see the construction stages of the fountain in these architectural reliefs.
The foundations of a temple are located on the north side of Main Street with columns reaching the Syrian Gate. The rectangular-shaped temple temenos (sacred courtyard) is entered from the columned street. The post amentos saw around the courtyard belonging to the porticoes surrounding the three sides of the temple sanctuary. In the northern part of the sacred courtyard is the temple facing south. Most likely, only the foundations of the prostyle temple remained. On the façade, Attic-Ion column bases made of marble, twisted and grooved column fragments, relief elements such as architrave and geison are seen. The Corinthian column head and corner capital fragments seen in the same area show that the building is in Corinthian order. Most of the architectural blocks of the temple were moved to be used in other nearby buildings at the end of the 4th century AD. Some of the blocks related to this were unearthed in the Syria Street excavations.
We learn from written documents that Laodikeia was given the title of “Laodikewn Newkorwn”, “Laodiceon Neokoron – Guardian of the Temple” during Emperor Commodus (180-192 AD) and Caracalla (211-217 AD). In the researches done so far, the ideas that we also support have been put forward that this structure described above could be the Sebasteion. The existing architectural remains are at the end of the 2nd century AD-3. It can be dated to the beginning of the century.