The Church of Laodicea

Church Entrance in Laodicea

Laodicea Ancient City is located in the north of Denizli Province, also known as Pamukkale, in western Turkey. Laodicea is a good example of a Hellenistic city. Today town is still hosting The Church of Laodicea. Laodicea was built by the Seleucid King Antiochus the Second in the middle of the 3rd century BC It was founded by Antiochus the second in the name of his beloved wife Laodike. In 130 BC, the entire region of west Turkey became a part of the Roman Empire.

The city, which had one of the famous seven churches of Christianity and became a religious center in the Early Byzantine Period. The Church of Laodicea is very important for the Christian world. Because it has been the Holy Pilgrimage Center since the 4th century. There was a significant number of Jewish communities in Laodicea. Thanks to its location far from politically strict centers, different religious beliefs, philosophies, and Christianity could gain weight here.

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It is thought that the establishment of the church in this city may have happened when Ambassador Paul had a discussion of the Bible in Ephesus for two years every day in the meeting hall of Tyrannus. It is important that the Laodikeia Church is mentioned in the Bible and still open to visitors. The church was built during the Great Constantinus, in 313, after the Milan Decree let Christians freely practice their religion. In this respect, it remains one of the oldest and most important sacred structures of the Christian world. Laodicea church is an important pilgrimage church.

Laodicea Church Today

The letter sent by Saint John the Evangelist to the church of Laodicea, which symbolizes the period of degeneration in the church chronology, is very important. In the first century, Laodicea was famous for its eye drops obtained from a stone called Frigia stone. Eye drops are said to have been found by Galen who was the most famous doctor of antiquity. The city made a lot of money thanks to this medicine. No remains related to the workshop or hospital where this drug was made has been found so far.

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Because of this eye drop, Jesus Christ addressed this church, saying, “I advise you to buy ointment to apply to your eyes to see.” The church in Laodicea is also accused of being warm. The waters of Hierapolis flowed hot and the Colessea waters flowed cold. Waters coming from far away springs through pipes would get lukewarm until they reached Laodicea. For this reason, people in this city have been called “lukewarm”. This is actually an analogy. Because Laodicean people are not literally Christian (warm) or pagan(cold). They were in between, they were lukewarm.

Laodicea Ruins

Today the church of Laodicea is one of my favorite churches in Turkey. I understand the anger of Jesus Christ to this church when I interpret this letter. In my opinion, the Laodicea church and Letter in Revelation to Laodicea should still be a guide to us. The values ​​and judgments of the Bible are still valid today and will be in the future. I hope someday in the future we can visit this church and the ancient city of Leodikya with you. See you soon, Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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