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Pamukkale

Pamukkale

Pamukkale is an extraordinary natural wonder. The mineral-rich waters rise from the ground at a temperature of 35°C and tumble down the mountain from a height of 100 metres, forming a myriad of pools. Cream coloured stalactites are formed as the water overflows the pools, creating a breathtaking sight unequalled in the world. Water is the sole instrument in the creation of this gleaming fairy castle that resembles cotton (hence the name “Cotton Castle”). There are an abundance of hot springs in this wonderland which are recommended for the treatment of heart disease, circulatory problems, high blood pressure, nervous disorders, rheumatism, eye and skin diseases, nervous and physical exhaustion, and digestive maladies.

The road to Pamukkale (19 km from Denizli) is lined with oleander bushes which anticipate the relaxing atmosphere of this ideal holiday center. The hotel pools are in garden like settings; the natural ones on the hillside, with their tiny splashing waterfalls, are particularly appreciated by nature lovers and sunbathers. The ruins of Hierapolis are the other main attraction. The city was founded in 190 B.C. by Eumenes II, king of Pergamon. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. it reached the height of its development as a Roman thermal bath center. Hierapolis has such extensive ruins that the following route is suggested: After admiring the city walls, start with the 5th – century octagonal Martyrium of St. Philip, cross to the 2nd- century theater for some fine marble reliefs above the stage, all quite well-preserved.

Next to the Temple to Apollo is a sacred area a deep hole in the ground (known as Plutonium) that used to emit noxious fumes (carbon dioxide) which the priests said were fatal to all except them- selves.

A memorial fountain is nearby. In the pool of the Pamukkale Motel are large marble slabs belonging to what was a Roman bath. Next, go to the basilica, then up a colon faded street and through memorial gates dating from Byzantine and Roman times, to the West Bath, and finish at the necropolis. The necropolis area stretches 2 km and contains some of the best examples of tomb styles; it is one of the best-preserved cemeteries in all of Anatolia. The now-restored East Bath is an archaeology museum housing many artefacts from Hierapolis.

The few shops in Pamukkale offer various calcified objects unique to this area. In contrast to this very white back ground, the colourful kilims seem even more brilliant. Five km northwest of Pamukkale is the Karahayit thermal center with plentiful accommodation as well. The water in the thermal baths here has a high iron content.

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