Pamukkale hot springs
Pamukkale, which means cotton castle in Turkish, is a hillside town in the western part of Turkey, consisting of travertine terraces and hot natural springs. The city has a height of over 100 meters and it is possible to see it from Denizli, a city situated on the plains of the River Menderes. It is famous for its mineral-rich thermal waters that flow down white travertine terraces on a hillside. Pamukkale’s breathtaking natural phenomenon has been utilized as a spa for thousands of years.
The hot springs created as a consequence of this phenomenon started to flow down to the surface of the plateau at enormous speeds. While these springs continued to flow, at the same time they started to evaporate in the sun, forming travertine terraces and fancy slopes filled with turquoise water. Since the water was highly saturated with carbonated calcium, when the sediments had solidified, they formed white crystalline surfaces, stalactites, terraces and finally pools.
Pamukkale neighbors an ancient Roman spa city, Hierapolis, which has been founded in 190’s B.C. Ruins in Hierapolis contain a necropolis with sarcophagi of 2 km and a well-preserved theater. There is also an antique pool which has been formed as a result of an earthquake and which is known for its submerged Roman columns. The thermal springs of Hierapolis became famous for their healing attributes and therefore a lot of holy temples were constructed, naming the city as Hierapolis, which means holy city. Pamukkale, the tourist attraction point together with Hierapolis has been included into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1988.
17 hot water springs in which the temperature ranges from 35°C to 100°C exist in in the region. Since Pamukkale’s location is close to the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas, the region has warm temperatures all along the year. There is a cave near Hierapolis, named Pluto’s Gate, which has been produced by the tectonic movement enabling the hot springs of Pamukkale to emerge. The cave is full of toxic carbon dioxide, for that reason in the history, it has been thought of as a passage to the underworld.