According to the historian Ksenophon, Colossae was one of the six big cities of Phrygia but starting with 3rd century B.C., it has lost its importance after the foundation of Hierapolis and Laodicea. The city was founded during 692-787 A.D. with the name Chonae at the location where Honaz county center is located now but was completely abandoned because of the earthquake. The relics of Colossae ancient city are found at the mound hill which is acropolis and at the surrounding areas. There are rooms and house type graves carved into rock at the region north to the mound.
There is also a Seljuk fortress in Honaz, and the Murat Mosque which dates back to the reign of Ottoman Sultan Murat II (imperabat 1404-1451).
In 396 BC, during the Persian Wars, the satrap Tissaphernes was lured to Colossae and slain by an agent of the party of Cyrus the Younger. Pliny tells that the wool of Colossae gave its name (colossinus) to the colour of the cyclamen flower. During the Hellenistic period, the town was of some mercantile importance, although by the 1st century it had dwindled greatly in size and significance.
It does not appear that St. Paul had visited this city when he wrote his Epistle to the Colossians (Col. 1:2, Col. 2:1), since he tells Philemon of his hope to visit it upon being freed from prison (see Philemon 1:22). It seems that Epaphras was the founder of the Colossian church (see Col. 1:7; 4:12).
This town fell into decay (possibly due to an earthquake) and the Byzantine town of Chonæ occupied a site near its ruins. A look at the classical, Byzantine, and otherwise medieval literature mentioning the site reveals a name change for part or all of Colossae to Cona or Chonae. The town was the birthplace of the Byzantine Greek writers Nicetas and Michael Choniates. In 1206–1230, it was ruled by Manuel Maurozomes.
Chonæ was made an archbishopric about 858-60, and in some later episcopal notices appears as a metropolis.
Today the economy of Honaz is centred on growing cherries, 80% of the crop being exported from Turkey, generating up to 35 million dollars of income per annum. There is an annual cherry festival in the town. Tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables are grown too including a local variety of oleaster. Honaz is also the homeland of a number of well-known pehlivans (oil wrestlers) including the 3-time national champion Hüseyin Çokal.
In the nearby depending township of Kaklik, there is a large cave called "Kaklik Cave" or "Kaklık Mağarası" which attracts visitors from all over the country. A spring that spurts out on the surface only to flow back underground shortly afterwards through the cave in cascading layers of limestone and travertine caused Kaklık to appear very much like a subterranean Pamukkale.