All About Turkey

Colossae

Ancient site of Colossae is located 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of Denizli province in Turkey, and 2 kilometers north of Honaz district. The site was founded in the ancient Lycus Valley on the side of Aksu river to the north of old Kadmos (todays Honaz) mountain, and positioned on the historic commercial and military routes connecting southwest of Anatolia to the east. According to Xenophon, a Greek historian from the 4th century BC, Colossae was one of the six big cities of Phrygia.

The city lived its heydays during the Persian rule in Asia Minor between 6th and 4th centuries BC, but lost its importance after the foundations of Hierapolis and Laodicea around 2nd century BC. Then the city was developed, together with Laodicea, in wool production and weaving until it was destroyed by a major earthquake in the 1st century AD during the reign of Neron. During the late Roman period Colossae was diminished into a village status due to the immigration to Hierapolis and Laodicea cities. Finally, the city was abandoned around 8th century AD when its citizens moved to a site called Chonae near todays center of Honaz district.

It's said that St. Paul had visited the city where he wrote his Epistle to the Colossians. But some sources deny that he actually visited the city, saying that one of St. Paul's followers founded the Church at Colossae.

So far no excavations have been carried out in Colossae. There are very few remains from the ancient city, such as the acropolis on the hilltop. To the north of the hilltop there are rooms and graves carved into the rocks.

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