December 04, 2023

Laodicea on the Lycus: A Lukewarm Church

The Ruins of Laodicea The Ruins of Laodicea © Lola Aykutoglu |

Laodicea, an ancient city, located in modern times near the Turkish city Denizli, was situated in a valley along major trade routes.  The city was very prosperous from its medical and banking industries.  

In AD 60, the city was destroyed by a major earthquake, but the citizens refused the aid of Rome, preferring to rebuild through their own means.  

“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’..." (Rev 3:17)


Though strategically located in terms of trade, the city did not inherently have its own water supply.  Water had to be piped in from aqueducts, hot water from the nearby mountain hotsprings of Hierapolis, and cold water from Colossae.  As the water had to travel long distances, it was lukewarm by the time it arrived, hence the reference in Revelation to the church at Laodicea being "lukewarm".

Main Attractions

Prior to 2010, archaeological remains were sparse, consisting chiefly of a few visible tops of Roman arches.  However within the past decade, a large ancient church was excavated, as well as a temple of Athena, part of an amphitheater, and other portions of pillars and walkways.  It is the intention of the Turkish authorities to continue to excavate this area and turn ancient Laodecia into a major tourist archaeological  park, on the scale of Ephesus.

See the links below for further information and exploration. 



















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Last modified on Monday, 17 June 2019 11:03
Nathan Gopen

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Nathan Gopen is a professional software engineer and MIT graduate. He is committed to using his skills in software, multimedia and graphic design to create inspiring and powerful new ways of comprehending and studying the vast riches of God's Word.

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