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Thyatira

Basilica in modern-day Akhisar. Photo © simonjenkins' photos. View all images in our Thyatira Photo Gallery.
In the grounds of the basilica in Thyatira (Akhisar). Photo © simonjenkins' photos.
In the grounds of the basilica in Thyatira (Akhisar). Photo © simonjenkins' photos.
In the grounds of the basilica in Thyatira (Akhisar). Photo © simonjenkins' photos.

Thyatira, modern Akhisar or Akisar, is located 42 miles (67 km) inland from the Aegean Sea in Turkey.

History

A Macedonian colony was established in Thyatria (Strabo, XIII, 4). The Greek deities especially worshipped in Thyatria including Asclepias, Dionysus, Artemis, and above all Apollo, in whose honor athletic games were instituted.

Thyatira became an early center of Christianity. The apostle Paul visited the city on a number of occasions during his missionary travels. Lydia, the woman converted by St. Paul at Philippi, was from Thyatira (Acts 16:13-15), and the church at Thyatira was one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 2:18-29).

The Emperor Vespasian began great undertakings at Thyatira; it was also visited by Hadrian in the year 123, and by Caracalla in 215.

We know from testimony given by St. Epiphanius that at the beginning of the third century almost all Thyatira was Christianized. A bishop of Thyatira attended the Council of Nicea in 325 and the Council of Ephesus in 431.

The bishopric of Thyatira was subject to that of Sardis as late as the 10th century; it is not known when it disappeared. In the Middle Ages the Turks changed the name of Thyatira to that of Ak-Hissar (the White Fortress), which it still bears.

What to See

Near the center of Akhisar, the archaeological remains of Thyatira are located in a fenced off rectangular city block.

Among the ruins is a public building (basilica) dating from the 5th or 6th century AD. In places it is preserved to a height of 16 feet. There are also columns and arches from an ancient portico dating from about the 4th century AD.

Several Greek inscriptions lie among the ruins of ancient Thyatira, and many more have been taken to the museum in Manisa (which is usually closed).

Many coins have been found at the site, from which it is evident that guilds of bakers, bronze smiths, wool workers, potters, linen weavers and tanners were active in the city. Such guilds would often hold banquets which included the eating of food offered to idols and participation in immoral sexual acts (cf. Rev. 2:20–24).

Quick Facts on Thyatira

Site Information
Names:Akhisar; Thyatira
Country:Turkey
Categories:Ancient Cities; Biblical Sites
Faiths:Ancient Greek; Christianity
Feat:Footsteps of Paul
Status:ruins
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Turkey
Coordinates:38.920148° N, 27.836282° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Thyatira

Below is a location map and aerial view of Thyatira. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

More Information

Article Info

Title:Thyatira
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:10/25/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/thyatira-akisar/turkey/sardis
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/thyatira-akisar/turkey/sardis">Thyatira</a>