Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country’s economic, cultural, and historical heart. With a population of 14.1 million, the city forms one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe, second largest in the Middle East and the fifth-largest city in the world by population within city limits.Istanbul’s vast area of 5,343 square kilometers is coterminous with Istanbul Province, of which the city is the administrative capital.Istanbul is a transcontinental city, straddling the Bosphorus—one of the world’s busiest waterways—in northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies in Europe, while a third of its population lives in Asia.
Pamukkale, or “cotton castle” in Turkish, is an unreal little village that has some of the most spectacular turquoise water terraces you will ever lay eyes on. For thousands of years, people have come here to bath in the hot springs. There are 17 of them in all that range in temperature from 35 °C (95 °F) to 100 °C (212 °F). What makes this site so breathtaking, however, is how the pools look against the white limestone mountains. The terraces are made of travertine, a form of limestone deposited by the thermal waters.
For those looking to take a dip, sadly you’re out of luck. As world traveler Michael Turtle states, “Whereas once you could swim in the travertines, now security guards keep a watchful eye on anyone trying to get too close. Other than a special swimming pool that has been constructed away from the cliffs, Pamukkale is generally to be seen but not touched these days.”In many ways, that’s to be applauded. The site is a truly remarkable natural phenomenon and it would be a pity if human interference damaged it permanently for future generations.”
Photos by Ahmet Şahin,Fraile,Malc C,ukrvneshtorg,Ana Raquel S. Hernandes,dachalan,Ocean/Corbis,Werner Bohm,Turizm.
Perga was an ancient Greek city in Anatolia and the capital of Pamphylia, now in Antalya province on the southwestern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Today it is a large site of ancient ruins 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) east of Antalya on the coastal plain. Located there is an acropolis dating back to the Bronze Age.Alexander’s was followed by the Diadochi empire of the Seleucids.
In 46 A.D., according to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul journeyed to Perga, from there continued on to Antiocheia in Pisidia, then returned to Perga where he delivered a sermon. Then he left the city and went to Attaleia.In the first half of the fourth century, during the reign of Constantine the Great (324-337), Perga became an important centre of Christianity after it had become the official religion of the Roman Empire. The city retained its status as a Christian centre in the fifth and sixth centuries.St. Paul the Apostle and his companion St. Barnabas, twice visited Perga as recorded in the biblical book, the Acts of the Apostles, during their first missionary journey, where they “preached the word” before heading for and sailing from Attalia (modern-day Antalya city), 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the southwest, to Antioch.Perge remained a Roman Catholic titular metropolitan see in the former Roman province of Pamphylia Secunda. Paul and Barnabas came to Perge during their first missionary journey, but probably stayed there only a short time, and do not seem to have preached there; it was there that John Mark left Paul to return to Jerusalem. On his return from Pisidia Paul preached at Perge.
Located towards the end of the Curetes Street, it was called the Hercules gate because of the relief of Hercules on it. It was brought from another place in the fourth century AD to its current place, but the relief on it dates back to the second century AD.
Only the two side of the columns remain today and the other parts of it have not been found. The relief of the flying Nike in the Domitian Square is thought to also be a part of this gate.
The Heracles Gate narrowed the access to the street, preventing the passage of vehicles.We can understand that from the Fourth Century, the street had become a pedestrian area.In these reliefs Heracles was depicting with the skin of the Nemean lion in myhtology. The Nemean lion had been terrorizing the area around Nemea, and had a skin so thick that it was impossible to kill it. Finally he wrestled the lion to the ground, eventually killing it by thrusting his arm down its throat and choking it to death. Heracles was the god of power and strenght.