Pamukkale - Turkey

Pamukkale, which means ‘Cotton Castle’ in Turkish, is known as 8th world wonder by Turkish people. Pamukkale is a natural site and a famous tourist attraction in south-western Turkey in the Denizli Province. Pamukkale is located in Turkey’s Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which enjoys a temperate climate over the greater part of the year. The summers are hot and dry, and winters warm and rainy. Tourists travel from the coast of Antalya and the Aegean Sea to Pamukkale.

The water (35 degrees Celsius) which is flowing down the cliff of Pamukkale has turned the area into as white as cotton color, and carved this fantastic formation of stalactites and basins. Pamukkale is a very popular destination for a short visit, the stunning white calcium pools, which cling to the side of a ridge, have been long one of the most famous picture postal card views of Turkey. It is the largest and finest example of elaborate calcium formation in the world, which dominates the landscape miles around.

Pamukkale was formed when a spring with a high content of dissolved calcium bicarbonate cascaded over the edge of the cliff, which cooled and hardened leaving calcium deposits. This formed into great natural pools, shelves and ridges, which tourists could plunge and splash in the hot water. According to ancient tradition, the waters within the pools are said to be advantageous in treating maladies and attracting people from all over the world. The calceous waters rise from the ground at a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius. In this white wonderland is an abundance of hot warm springs which are recommended for the treatment of high blood pressure, heart diseases, rheumatism, circulatory problems, nervous disorders, digestive maladies, nervous and physical exhaustion, eye & skin diseases and nutritional disorders.

Hotels were springing up from the 1970s to cater for the large influx of tourists, and shortly afterwards UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. But by the 1990s, this took its toll on the state of the calcium pools and restrictions were placed on these travertine terraces. Many hotels were knocked down, visitors are only allowed on major paths around the sites, and must remove footwear to stand on the calcium deposits. This seems to have been a successful move, as the water supply is now used for preservation and some of the damaged calcium deposits have been strengthened.

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