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14/50.- Hierapolis, Plateia

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The ancient city was strung out on either side of a long colonnaded street called the Plateia. Measuring 13 meters in width, this street ran north and south from the southern gateway to the Arch of Domitian in the north. It is paved with huge blocks of limestone. Walking along the Plateia we must bear in mind that this main street dividing the ancient city was once decorated with colonnades, porticos, and important buildings located on either side. The street runs directly toward the city walls passing through a gateway built in Byzantine times atop an earlier fountain. The city walls were built in 396 AD. and were reinforced by 28 towers. Passing through Byzantine gate you come to a rather well preserved section of the Plateia. This part built during the reign of Domitian (81-96 AD.) ends with the Arch of Domitian. This monumental gateway was actually erected by Julius Frontinus, who was proconsul of the Roman province of Asia in 82 and 83 AD., and dedicated to the emperor. The gate has two round towers and three portals. Excavations are now in progress to reveal the remains of shops and houses that once lined both sides of this street. Perched on hillside above the city is a well-preseved Roman theater (2nd century AD) that is still in use for festivals and concerts. Our day trip ends with a buffet style lunch at a restaurant nearby.

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