Archaic Laodikeia city that is 6 km to the north of the Denizli Province is established at a very suitable point from the geographical point of view in the south of the Lycos river.The name of the city is mostly referred to as "Laodikeia" at the side of Lycos" in the archaic references. In accordance with the historian Pliny, Laodikeia has been constructed on the ruins of a village that was first called as Diospolis "City of Zeus" and then as Rhoas. The name Diospolis is a symbol of the importance given to Zeus cult there. The name Rhoas may belong to any of the native Anatolian languages.
In accordance with other archaic sources, the city was established by Antiokhos II between the years 263 - 261 BC and the name of Antiokhos's wife, Laodike, has been given to the city. Laodikeia is one of the most important and famous cities of Anatolia in the 1st century BC. The big artistic works in the city belong to this period and the gladiator fights promoted the growing importance of the city. The Romans have given a special importance to Laodikeia. Famous statesman and preacher Cicero came to this city in 50 BC and dealt with some legal problems of the city. Again at those dates, the Romans have made Laodikeia the centre of Kibyra convents. The Roman Emperor Hadrianus visited the city in 129 AD and wrote letters to Rome from there,
Evidence shows that how good the relations between the City and Rome were the status, wealth and privileges that Zeno family had. A man named Polemon from this family has been assigned as a director to Kilikia and Pontus by Antonius.
The inscriptions and coins provide information about the religious life of Laodikeia. Zeus Laodiokos figure seen on many coins belonging to the Empire period is the indication of the importance given to Zeus cult in this city. The information we have in relation with the late periods of Laodikeia is very limited.
A few texts provide information to us about the condition of Laodikeia during the beginning periods. As is the case for other locations, Christianity has affected the Jewish community first.
Existence of one of the famous 7 churches of Small Asia in this city shows the importance of Christianity in this city. We don't know the reason why Laodikeia that was established near Goncalı and Eskihisar villages in archaic period was completely left. But, it is not difficult to guess that big earthquakes played a role in this event.A very big earthquake that took place in 194 AD and destroyed the city.
The Buildings of Laodikeia
A Big Theatre
It is constructed in the north-east of the archaic city, in the Greek theatre type and in the Roman style in compliance with the area. Its scene is completely destroyed and its cavea and orchestra are in good condition. It has a capacity of approximately 20.000 persons.
A Small Theatre
It is 300 m north-western of the Big theatre. It is constructed in Roman style in compliance with the area in Greek type. Its scene is completely destroyed and there are damages in its cavea and orchestra. It has a capacity of approximately 15.000 persons.
A Stadium and the Gymnasium
It lies in the south-western direction of the city. The additional buildings and gymnasium are constructed so as to constitute a whole. The length of the stadium constructed in 79 AD is 350 m and its width is 60 m. The building, which is constructed in the form of a amphitheatre has 24 - step sitting lines. A big part of it is destroyed. An inscription indicating that the gymnasium was constructed in the 2nd century AD by proconsul Gargilius Antioius and devoted to Emperor Hadrianus and his wife Sabina.
A Monumental Fountain
It is located at the corner of the main street and secondary street of the city. It is made so as to have two sides. It has niches. It has been repaired in Byzantine Period.
An Assembly Building
It is in the south-west of the city. The monumental building having a rectangular plan lies in the east - west position. The main entrance is at the eastern side. It is constructed with the arch and vault system starting from the entrance. The upper parts of the building have been destroyed completely and the bearer elements have been destroyed partially.
The Zeus Temple
It is in the eastern part of the street with columns of archaic Laodikeia city and between the small theatre and nymphaeum. But only parts of the ornamental elements can be seen.
It is constructed in the south of the street with columns, near the street. Only a part of the bearer parts are not damaged. Its main entrance is in the western side. In the middle part, eight pillars, four of which are arched and four of which are flat, were used.