Laodicea heads for World Heritage List

Laodicea heads for World Heritage List

DENİZLİ - Anatolia News Agency
Laodicea heads for World Heritage List

One of 37 places from Turkey, the ancient city of Laodicea is a strong candidate for the UNESCO World Heritage List, according to officials. AA photo

Denizli Municipality has submitted documents to UNESCO for the inclusion of the ancient city of Laodicea on the agency’s World Heritage List.

The ancient city is one of the strongest candidates for the list, Denizli Mayor Osman Zolan said in a written statement.

“Work has begun to include the ancient city, which is home to one of the seven holy churches mentioned in the Bible and the only ancient city in Anatolia with four baths and two theaters in the UNESCO list,” he said, adding that the city also boasted the largest ancient stadium in Anatolia.

He said the necessary documents had been sent to the Culture and Tourism Ministry and that it had been included in 37 places that would become candidates for the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“We have made great progress in the excavations in the ancient city in the last four years. Excavations have been continuing for 12 months. We discovered an ancient church structure. Last year, the ancient city was visited by 300,000 tourists. Our goal is to increase this number to 1.5 million,” the mayor said.

The city of Laodicea was one of the chief seats of Christianity. Laodicea receives passing mention in the epistle to the Colossians and is one of the seven churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelations.

The Laodicean church is thought to have been founded by the Colossian Epaphras, a Christian preacher.