Denizli is a large province in Turkey and the 21st most populous city, known for its textile products and the famous rooster protected by the state. It is home to the last church of the Revelation mentioned in the Bible, Laodicea, as well as the beautiful travertines in Hierapolis, also known as “Pamukkale – Cotton Castle.” This city attracts millions of visitors each year and is a research and university center in Western Anatolia. Denizli also has a traditional town called Buldan that was once a center for Ottoman Janissary troops and is on its way to becoming a spa and health center with its medical hospitals and beauty clinics. Located at the crossroads between the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, Denizli is rich in natural, cultural, historical, and economic treasures, making it worth visiting at least once in a lifetime.
Tourmakerturkey.com offers half to full-day travel packages to Denizli and Pamukkale, complete with tour guides to show you the cultural attractions. Our site also contains essential information about Denizli that is worth reading. Make your dream of traveling to Denizli come true with us.
Denizli is located in the southeast of the Aegean region and the southwest of Anatolia. It serves as a gateway between the Mediterranean, known as the Turkish Riviera, and the Aegean, known as old Ionia. The city borders Aydın and Manisa to the west, Mugla to the south, and Usak to the north. It covers an area of 11,692 square kilometers and has an altitude of 427 meters above sea level. The city is situated on the slopes of Babadag and is surrounded by a meandering river which provides fertile soil for agriculture.
The original name of the city was “Ladik,” taken from the ancient city of Laodicea located 7 kilometers away. This name is mentioned in historical sources. The city of Denizli was re-established after battles between Byzantine and Turkish troops in the 11th century AD. The famous Arab traveler, Ibn Batuta, referred to the city as “Tonguzlu” in his book in 1333 AD. The name has changed several times over the years and since 1770, it has been known as Denizli.
The history of Denizli dates back to 6000 BC, with the first known settlements being located on Beyce Sultan Tmulus on the way to Çivril. The area was first inhabited by the Arzawans, the forefathers of the Hittites, between 1200-1700 BC. Later, the Phrygians became the dominant force in the area after the Dark Ages in 800 BC. Xenophon mentions one of the most important settlements in western Phrygia was Colossea, which is now known as Honaz. After the collapse of the Phrygians, the region came under the control of the Lydians, under the command of King Coressos.
With the arrival of Alexander the Great in 334 BC, the Hellenistic period began, and after his death, the area was ruled by one of his generals, Selekos I, for twenty years. The province later became part of the Pergamene kingdom, and by 129 BC, Hierapolis and Laodicea had become two important cities in the Roman province of Asia. Laodicea became a rich banking center and the city of purple dye with eye solve, while Hierapolis became a spa center for Roman troops and aristocrat families. Rome also built major highways to facilitate safe trade.
At the end of the 4th century AD, the Roman Empire split into two parts and the eastern part, known as the Byzantine Empire, ruled the area. The glory of the city came to an end in the 7th and 8th centuries as it became a small, less populated town. Arab raids began in the 9th and 10th centuries and in 1040, the city was taken over by Turkoman troops after the Dandanakan battlefield. The city changed hands between the Turks and Byzantines until the end of the 12th century, when it was taken over again by the Turks under Seljuk Sultan Kaykhusraw I. The Sultan allowed for about 200,000 Nomadic Turkoman families to settle in and around the city.
The city was first ruled by the Ottoman Empire in 1360, but after the destruction of the Ottoman state at the Battle of Ankara in 1402, it was given back to the Germiyanoglu principality. In 1429, the whole Germiyan land, including Denizli, was taken over by the Ottomans. In the 15th century AD, the city was able to develop under Ottoman rule thanks to the arrival of Ahi Evran, the founder of the famous Turkish guilds, who established a large guilds association in Denizli. Buldan became famous for producing textiles, such as military uniforms and fine clothes, for the Ottoman Janissary troops and even for concubines and Queen mothers. Denizli was divided into three major states under Ottoman rule until 1920, and in 1923, it became a province of the newly proclaimed country of Turkey.
Denizli is located at the crossroads between the Aegean and Mediterranean regions and therefore experiences the influence of two climates. In general, summers are hot and dry while winters are mild and rainy. The majority of the rainfall occurs in December and January, with an average of 80 rainy days per year. As you move further inland in the province, the climate becomes colder and there is snow in the highlands, which is why the province is home to many ski centers that are popular with skiers. In the summer months of July and August, it is extremely hot in Denizli, making it a popular destination for visitors and holidaymakers. These climatic conditions and natural beauty make Denizli a worth-visiting destination for both locals and foreigners.
7th CHURCH OF THE REVELATION; LAODICEA
According to the book of Revelation written by John the Evangelist, one of the twelve apostles and the beloved disciple who promised Jesus to care for Mary at the cross, there were seven churches at the end of the 1st century AD. One of these, called Laodicea, is located in the Denizli province, just 7 km from the north downtown area. It was established near the river Lycos on a reasonable plateau and was once the banking center of the Roman province of Asia in antiquity. In John’s time, Laodicea was one of the richest cities in Asia Minor, with a population of about 150,000, and it was chosen to warn the church elders to remain faithful to Christ.
The Sights in Denizli
Denizli is home to numerous historical and natural wonders, including Hierapolis (also known as the “Cotton Castle”), Karahayıt as Turkey’s thermal spa center, Laodicea as the final church mentioned in the Bible, Colossae where Paul sent a messenger to warn its people, Buldan as the maker of Janissary troop uniforms and painted mosques from later centuries.
Pamukkale, a natural wonder created from hot spring water, is a spectacular display of calcium oxide travertines and is one of the most famous natural wonders in Turkey. Millions of domestic and foreign tourists visit Pamukkale each year to see the travertines, which are 2,700 meters long and 160 meters high, and can be seen from a distance of 50 km due to their bright white color. In addition to the travertines, other recommended places to visit in Pamukkale include an ancient pool, an amphitheater, an archaeological museum, a long ancient cemetery area with sarcophagus called necropolis, and a Turkish bath. The hill was once home to the ancient Roman sanctuary of Hierapolis, and the area has since become well-known in history.
Laodicea, one of the seven biblical churches, is known as the “lukewarm” church in the Book of Revelation. It is located in the Denizli province and is easily accessible, with a travel time of only 15 minutes by coach. The city is famous for its magnificent archaeological site, which is still being excavated and is listed on Unicef’s World Heritage Cities list. Each year, millions of visitors flock to Laodicea to witness its rich history and cultural heritage. In recent years, Laodicea has also become a popular pilgrimage destination for church groups from all over the world on tours following in the footsteps of the apostles. These groups not only participate in mass at the Cross church, but also walk through the ancient streets and admire the city’s impressive water pipe systems.
Colosse was established by the Ionians near the bank of the Lycos river in the 3rd century BC after the death of Alexander the Great. It was located about 3 miles from present-day Honaz. The city’s location changed several times due to earthquakes over the years. In the 1st century AD, Colosse became a popular stop for travelers and disciples because of its proximity to Laodicea. Although Paul never visited Colosse, he sent a messenger to warn its people not to follow the ways of the Laodiceans and to remain faithful to Christ. Today, Honaz is known for its beautiful mountain, which has been declared a National Park by the Turkish government, as well as its fertile cherry farming and endemic flowers.
KARAHAYIT: A THERMAL SPA DESTINATION
Karahayit is located just 5 km from Denizli and is home to a variety of hotels offering comfortable accommodation for visitors who come to see Pamukkale, Laodicea, and the Denizli province. The water in the travertines is a unique red color, making it a popular attraction for visitors. Karahayit is poised to become a world-famous health spa center, thanks to its rich source of red-colored, healing thermal water and thermal mud that rises to the surface at a temperature of 58°C year-round.
BULDAN: A TRADITIONAL TEXTILE CENTER
Buldan was established during the Selçuk Empire in the 12th century AD, and became a hub for textile production, making towels, clothes, and army uniforms for the Ottoman Janissaries. Ottoman sultans encouraged local enterprises to open workshops in Buldan, and the clothing produced there was sent to the Topkapı Palace for the harem concubines and queen mothers for centuries. Today, Buldan is still recognized as a textile center throughout Turkey.
HISTORICAL PAINTED MOSQUES
Denizli is home to a wealth of historical painted mosques, most of which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries and boast stunning wall decorations, painted prayer niches, and magnificent wooden pulpits and desks. These mosques are works of art that reflect the devotion and emotions of the faithful. They were originally Bektasi lodges where the teachings of morality, patriotism, religion, humanity, and positive sciences were imparted by dervishes. The believers who attended these lodges were able to spread the messages they learned to remote areas of the region. With the restrictions on tekkes and lodges by law, these Bektasi lodges were transformed into mosques with the addition of painted prayer niches.
Touring Denizli and its surrounding area is an incredible experience that combines historical and natural beauty. From the ancient churches and painted mosques, to the red travertines and the fertile cherry farming, there is so much to see and do in this region of Turkey. With Tour Maker Turkey, you can be assured of a customized, unforgettable tour that takes you to all the must-see sights, as well as some hidden gems that you may have missed otherwise.
Our knowledgeable and experienced guides will provide you with a wealth of information about the history and culture of the region, as well as tips for making the most of your time here. They will also take you to some of the best restaurants and shops, ensuring that you get a taste of the local cuisine and culture.
One of the highlights of your tour will undoubtedly be visiting the world-renowned archaeological site of Laodicea. Here, you’ll learn about the rich history of this once thriving city and admire the amazing water pipe systems, as well as the ancient streets that have been preserved. You’ll also have the chance to attend a mass at the Cross church and feel the holy atmosphere that surrounds this site.
Another fascinating stop on your tour will be the historical painted mosques in Denizli. These stunning buildings reflect the devotion of the faithful and showcase the incredible talent of the artists who created them. You’ll learn about the evolution of these mosques from Bektasi lodges, where morality, patriotism, religion, humanity, and positive sciences were taught by dervishes, to the painted prayer niches of the present day.
For those interested in natural beauty, the red travertines of Karahayıt are not to be missed. This area is well on its way to becoming a world-famous health spa center, thanks to the healing thermal water and thermal mud that emerge from the surface. You’ll have the chance to take a dip in these rejuvenating waters and marvel at the vibrant red color of the travertine formations.
And for those interested in traditional crafts, Buldan is a must-visit. This town has a long history of textile production, dating back to the Selçuk Empire in the 12th century. You’ll learn about the history of the town and see the workshops that produce towels, clothes, and army uniforms. You’ll also see the skill of the local craftsmen, who have been producing clothing for the Harem concubines and queen mothers of the Ottoman Sultans for centuries.
With Tour Maker Turkey, you’ll experience all of these incredible sights and more, while enjoying comfortable transportation and excellent accommodations. We are passionate about creating unforgettable tours that cater to your specific interests and needs, so you can get the most out of your visit to this region of Turkey.
So why wait? Book your tour today with Tour Maker Turkey and discover the wonders of Denizli and its surroundings for yourself. Let us create a custom tour that’s perfect for you!