The healing springs of Pamukkale have cured and revitalized humanity for thousands of years.


The thermal waters, truly a miracle of nature, not only embrace mankind with their restorative power, but, over the millennia, have also created the unique travertine formations that resemble nothing so much as crystallised fields of cotton. Pamukkale and the adjacent ancient city of Hierapolis are listed as a site of World Heritage by UNESCO. Together they form one of the most attractive destinatitons in the world. Visit the enchanting and eternal city of Pamukkale. You will never forget it.


    Seen from a distance the magnificent Travertine Terraces of Pamukkale look like the white clouds of heaven, or a sun-drenched, snow covered series of glittering ridges. As you approach you realise that water is gently falling over the clouds of snow. Closer still, as you wade in ankle deep thermal water, you realise that this is unlike anything you have seen before and you are in for a once in a lifetime experience. Let us share the secrets of Pamukkale, which brings you in contact with the wondrous, magical architecture of nature. Travertine is a sedimentary rock which is formed under specific conditions as a result of a chemical reaction. The terraces themselves are the product of their process. The geological events that have formed the thermal springs of Pamukkale have also affected a large region. There are 17 thermal springs in the region where the water temperatures vary between 35 and 100degrees. The thermal spring of Pamukkale is one of those springs which have been in use since antiquity, and has provided therapy to humanity through the millennia. The thermal waters of the spring follow a 320m long channel to the head of the travertine ridge and fall into the travertine terraces, approximately 60-70 meters long, where the deposits form. At the source, the temperature of thermal water is 35.6 degrees, and it contains a high concentration of calcium carbonate. When it comes in contact with the oxygen in the air it forms carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide gases, which evaporate and leave deposits of calcium carbonate. Initially, the calcium carbonate deposits are like soft jelly. Over the time it hardens and forms the travertine. However, if visitors are allowed to walk in the cascading pools, that leads to squashing and dispersing the soft jelly of calcium carbonate. At present, thermal water is released over the travertine in a controlled programme. If a large amount of water is allowed to flow on a certain area for a long time it leads to moss formation and darkening of the colour of the travertine. The atmospheric conditions, temperature loss and duration of the flow affect the creation and maintenance of pure whiteness.


    The ancient city of Hiearapolis grew over the thermal springs and today provides visitors with a glimpse of the natural gifts of the region and cultural riches that man added to nature. The ancient city, situated 20 kilometres north of Denizli, is justly famous for the buildings and artefacts unearthed during extensive excavations.


    Hierapolis is known as the “Sacred City” on account of its many temples and religious buildings. The geographers of antiquity, Strabo and Ptolemy, claimed that Hierapolis was a Phrygian city, because of its proximity to Laodica on the Lycus and Tripolis, cities situated on the border with the Caria region. Experts noted that there were human settlements associated with the cult of Cybele, the goddess of motherhood, on the site of the city before it was established as Hierapolis.


    14 metres wide, Frontinus Road, built in the 1st Century AD, was the main thoroughfare of the city. Along its centre is the main drain of the city, covered with large stone slabs. Shops, houses and warehouses ran along both sides of the road, forming the city`s commercial district, which extends along the 170 metres section of the road up to the Byzantine Gate.


    Following an earthquake that shook the city in 60AD, this location, which previously contained dwellings, workshops and the necropolis, was rebuilt as the workshops and the necropolis, was rebuilt as the Commercial Agora of Hierapolis. Excavations have unearthed ceramic kilns with round plan furnaces and embossed pots (from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD). The built area was 170 metres wide and 280 metres long, and it was one of the largest agorae of Asia Minor. The site has been restored to its present state through excavations and is open to visitors.


    During the Byzantine Period, the North Gate, part of the walls of Hieroplis, was the monumental entrance to the city. Built in the 4th century AD, the gate was constructed in symmetry with the South Gate, with material collected from earlier structures. The gate was supported by two square-plan towers, and the arch built over the load bearing architrave was adorned with a cross. Two pairs of large brackets flanking the entrance are among the impressive structures that have survived to our times. Sculptures a panther, and the mythological Gorgon, whose stony gaze and hair with snakes protruding wildly protected Hierapolis from evil.


    This 4th century AD gate was built with material reused from demolished structures, and consisted of harmonious travertine and marble blocks. The gate was flanked by two square plan towers and a relieving arch reduced the weight.


    The gymnasium dates to the same period of construction as the Temple of Apollo and the Frontinus Road, following the devastating earthquake in the 1st century AD. Scientific explorations noted a piece of architrave containing an inscription indicating that the colonnaded building was a gymnasium. The building must have consisted of a large courtyard enclosed with a portico. The building`s date is suggested by the consistency of architectural features with other buildings built in Hierapolis in the 1st century AD.


    The latrine is noteworthy among the architectural structures of Hierapolis as it has survived with all its integral features intact, despite having collapsed in an earthquake. The building has a long and narrow plan, with entry by two doors on the side. It was built with travertine blocs and its aesthetics is derived from its unity of form and function. There is a channel on the floor carrying waste water to the sewers under the road. Along the internal wall there is a fresh water channel along the front of the seats intended for cleansing.


    The two aqueducts that have provided drinking water to the city are consisted of channels built in the hills. The North Channel and the East Channel merge at a filter room built on a hill to the east of the city. After filtration, water was distributed by terracotta pipes to the streets and houses of the city.



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