The ruins of the city located in Turkey today was once called Laodicea ad Lycum in the Roman period, meaning “Laodicea by the River Lycus” to differentiate it from the other settlements bearing the same name. Archaeological pieces of evidence in the area show uninterrupted inhabitant from the Early Chalcolithic Age, 5500 BC to the 7th century AD. However, some ancient records point that the city was established in the mid-3rd century BC by King Antiochus II of the Seleucid Dynasty in honor of his wife Laodice. The city was probably founded on the site of an older town by Antiochus II as a result of the shifting in political equilibrium due to various reasons like the power struggle within the Diadochi after the death of Alexander the Great and Rome's growing interest in Asia Minor.
The city gained importance and fame with the gladiator fights in the 1st century BC. Famous statesman and orator Cicero has been to this city in 50 BC and has helped the city with some of its juristic problems. Also, Roman Emperor Hadrian visited the city in 129 and has written letters to Rome from here. It approximately covers an area of 5 square kilometers and among the most important remains are; the largest stadium in Asia Minor (285mx70m), four bath complexes, five agoras, five Nymphaea, two monumental gateways, bouleuterion, temples, peristyle houses, latrine, church, and monumental streets. The fact that the city had two theatres shows the level of wealth and prosperity that had in the Roman period, as one of the most important commercial and textile trade centers in Asia Minor.
Additionally, it is one of the total Seven Churches in Western Anatolia that is mentioned in the Revelations Book of Bible. The church dated to the 4th century is believed to be one of the earliest churches built in the name of Christian faith after the religion was liberated with 313 Edict of Milan between Western Roman Emperor Constantine I and Licinius. As a result, the church is one of the holiest shrines of Christianity.