Europe

Pamukkale

Pamukkale 5

Pamukkale is a natural site in the Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. Pamukkale, which has been used as a spa since the second century BC, literally means “cotton castle” in Turkish. The travertine features have their origins in the shifting of a fault in the valley of the Menderes river (between there and Denizli). As the fault shifted, very hot springs with a very high mineral content (notably chalk) arose at this location.


Apart from the slightly radioactive minerals, the calcium and hydrogen carbonate react to create calcium carbonate (also known as travertine) and limestone. This is what gives Pamukkale its whiteness and created the pools. It can get quite hot in summer, a hat and especially sunglasses will certainly be very helpful against the sun and the reflecting sun rays from the chalky cascades.




On the other hand, the cold winter climate could make the experience slightly uncomfortable. Climbing up the cascades barefoot, with cold water running downstream will be a tough task. Tourism is and has been a major industry. People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. As recently as the mid-20th century, hotels were built over the ruins of Hierapolis, causing considerable damage.

An approach road was built from the valley over the terraces, and motor bikes were allowed to go up and down the slopes. When the area was declared a World Heritage Site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed and replaced with artificial pools. Wearing shoes in the water is prohibited to protect the deposits.



Location:

Tags