Laodicea on the Lycus

Laodicea on the Lycus

LAODICEA ON THE LYCUS, LOCATED AT THE CROSSROADS OF IMPORTANT TRADE ROUTES, WAS ONCE A PROSPEROUS CITY, famous for its black wool, banking services, and medical achievements. In the times of late antiquity, it had a large Jewish community and a significant congregation of Christians. St. John mentioned Laodicea as one of the Seven Churches of Asia in the Book of Revelation


Laodicea is situated on a hill between fertile valleys irrigated by the waters of Asopus (tr. Gümüşçay) and Kapros (tr. Başlıçay) streams. They are the tributaries of the Lycus River, now known as Çürüksu Çayı, which flows on the north-eastern side of the hill. This river gave Laodicea its cognomen – ad Lycum – meaning in the River Lycus. It distinguishes this city from other Laodiceas founded by Antiochus II.

Laodicea was founded on an important trade route, leading to this city from Sardis through Philadelphia. In its neighbourhood, there are many important ancient cities. Just 10 km to the north of Laodicea, there is the famous Roman spa of Hierapolis. Colossae, known from the Epistle to the Colossians written by St. Paul, is 14.5 km to the east. The city of Tripolis on the Meander is located on the road to Sardis, 26 km to the north-west of Laodicea.