Destination Guides Turkey.

Pamukkale

Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site and attraction in south-western Turkey in the Denizli Province. Pamukkale is located in Turkeys Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which enjoys a temperate climate over the greater part of the year. The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2700 meters long and 160m high. It can be seen from a great distance, eg. when driving down the hills on the opposite side of the valley to the town of Denizli, which is 20 km away. Pamukkale is a famous tourist attraction of Turkey. Tourists travel from the coast of Antalya and the Aegean Sea to Pamukkale, it is also recognized as a World Heritage Sites together with Hierapolis. Only a few other places in the world resemble it, including the Mammoth Hot Springs in the USA and Huanglong in Sichuan Province of China (another UNESCO World Heritage Site). Hierapolis-Pamukkale was made a World Heritage Site in 1988. The ruins of Greek temples and baths can be seen here. Before the World Heritage designation, Pamukkale went unprotected for decades in the late 20th century and hotels were built on top of the site, destroying parts of the remains of Hierapolis. Hot water from the springs was taken to fill the hotel pools and the waste water was spilled over the monument itself, turning it brownish. A tarmac road ramp was built into the main part. People walked around with shoes, washed themselves with soap and shampoo in the pools and rode bikes and motorbikes up and down the slopes. By the time UNESCO turned its attention to Pamukkale, the site was losing its attraction. Officials made attempts to restore the site. The hotels were demolished, and the road ramp was covered with artificial pools which today are accessible to bare-footed tourists, unlike most other parts of the site. Tadpoles can be found in the pools. A small trench was carved along the outside of the ramp to collect the water and prevent it from spilling. The brownish parts have been left to be bleached by the sun without being covered by water to lessen the problem. Many pools are thus empty. Others parts are covered with water for an hour or two according to a schedule which is on display on top of the hill. The underground volcanic activity which causes the hot springs also caused carbon dioxide to seep into a cave which as a result was called the Plutonium meaning place of the god, Pluto.

The Calcium Terraces (Travertines)

Travertines, or calcium deposits, made by hot mineral-laden waters at Pamukkale, near Denizli in Meander River valley of Turkeys Aegean region. Note the people walking on the puffy-looking clouds of brilliant stone. This is an old photo. The travertines have wisely been closed to strollers and bathers in order to preserve them. But you can still look! As for swimming, lots of modern pools at hotels allow you to splash in the naturally-warm, calcium-laden waters.

Hierapolis

Hierapolis (Greek: Ἱεράπολις "holy city") was the ancient city on top of the famous Pamukkale hot springs located in south-western Turkey near Denizli. Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As the hot springs of Pamukkale were used as a spa since the 2nd century B.C., people came to soothe their ailings here. Many of them retired and died here. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagi. The great baths were constructed with huge stone blocks without the use of cement, and consisted of various closed or open sections linked together. There are deep niches in the inner section of the bath, library, gymnasium and other closed or open locations. The complex, which was constructed in the 2nd century, constitutes a good example of vault-type architecture. The complex is now an archaeological museum.