The Travertines of Pamukkale
Incredible white travertines, resembling frozen waterfalls and small pools resembling terraces, can be found in Pamukkale. They are formed when thermal water supersaturated with calcium carbonate comes into contact with oxygen on the surface. Pamukkale is on nearly every traveler’s “must-see” list. It has long been common knowledge that the Pamukkale thermal waters have curative properties, and visitors have been flocking to Hierapolis to partake in this practice. Another unique experience is touching the snow-white travertines that are formed by the regenerating thermal water from Hierapolis. To keep them from losing their pristine beauty, the Pamukkale travertines are currently under extensive preservation efforts. They are rare in their natural beauty, and they stand for a place where history and nature come together. Next to the Pamukkale travertines is the Antique Pool, also called Cleopatra’s Pool, which is another must-do local activity. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience with the calcareous structure, bright white color, and soothing thermal water! Pamukkale’s many wonders and attractions will undoubtedly captivate you.
Natural Park of Pamukkale
The entrance to Pamukkale is right next to Pamukkale Natural Park. The park has a pond where visitors can rent paddle boats and take scenic rides around the area. The fish and geese are a nice touch to the otherwise ordinary landscape. Pamukkale’s natural beauty is augmented by the park’s green spaces, cafeteria, and mud pond, all of which are nourished by thermal water.
Mud Baths and Hot Springs in Karahayit
Denizli’s thermal waters have been used by visitors since the city’s earliest recorded history. Over the course of thousands of years, the valley’s residents have relied on the therapeutic properties of the area’s thermal water, for which they have constructed magnificent baths. For centuries, people from all over Anatolia have made the journey here in search of a cure. All year long, this healing water maintains a temperature of 58 degrees Celsius, making it ideal for treating a wide range of illnesses. Mud baths, in particular, are thought to improve one’s appearance and sense of vitality.
Hierapolis, an Ancient Greek City
The ancient city of Hierapolis found 18 kilometers north of Denizli on the same site as the Pamukkale travertines, is revered as a “holy city” due to its many sacred buildings. It was established by King Eumenes II of Pergamum at the turn of the 2nd century BC and was given the name “Hiera” in honor of the queen consort of the Attalid king Telephus. Over the course of several millennia, people from all over Anatolia have traveled to the ancient city of Hierapolis, a thermal center known for its hot springs, to improve their health and appearance. The modern-day visitor also seeks out the thermal pools for the health and aesthetic benefits they provide. Hierapolis is home to many fascinating historical sites, including the Gymnasium, the Pamukkale Observation Terrace, the travertines, the Martyrium and Church of Saint Philip the Apostle, the Hierapolis Ancient Theater, the Hierapolis Archaeological Museum, the Antique Pool (Cleopatra’s Pool), the Northern Necropolis, and the Frontinus Gate and Street.
An Ancient Theater in Hierapolis
More than two millennia have passed since the construction of Hierapolis’s theater. Due to its elaborate stage design, mythological reliefs, and cavea (a semicircular tier of seating), this Anatolian theater stands out from others of its kind in the Mediterranean region. The birth of Apollo and Artemis and religious rites; Dionysian revelry, satyrs and maenads; a musical contest between Marsyas and Apollo; the battle of the Olympian gods and the Giants (Gigantomachy), Hades abducting Persephone and taking her to the Underworld; sporting events in Hierapolis; and the coronation of Emperor Septimius Severus are all depicted on the sculptural reliefs.
The Ancient Pool (or Cleopatra’s Pool)
Located just next to the Pamukkale travertines in ancient Hierapolis, the Antique Pool has been a popular tourist attraction since its discovery in the early 1900s. Its origins can be traced back to the second century BC. There are rumors that the famous Ptolemaic Egyptian ruler Cleopatra took a dip in this pool. It is heated to a constant 36 degrees Celsius thanks to a constant supply of thermal water.
The Ancient Roman Baths of Hierapolis, Housed in a Restored Temple
The building’s design cues place its construction in the second century A.D. The foyer leads into a large courtyard, then a rectangular hall, and finally two more equally sized halls on either side. The actual bathroom building comes next. In a remarkable turn of events, the two side halls served as the Emperor’s domain and venue for formal occasions. The large hall’s annex building has been converted into a museum that is open to the public. There are three enclosed rooms in the Hierapolis Bath and two open rooms on the building’s eastern side where the museum’s collection of artifacts can be viewed.