What is Pamukkale Famous For?

Pamukkale Travertines

Pamukkale which is one of Turkey’s major tourist areas is located in the west. It is visited by an average of two million people a year. It is known that the history of Pamukkale dates back to the second century BC. It has been the home of many civilizations since the Hellenistic period. In this post, I will introduce you to Pamukkale with many different aspects.

Pamukkale is famous for its travertines which are declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Pamukkale is also known for its ancient pool, Laodicea Ancient City, Hierapolis Ancient City and Kaklik Cave.

The travertines are not the only structure in Pamukkale that is recognized and protected by UNESCO. The ancient pool is another natural structure protected by UNESCO. Laodicea Ancient City and Hierapolis Ancient City are two important cities that the Greeks left to the world. Kaklik Cave, which has a healing pool, is also located in Pamukkale. Hierapolis Archeology Museum contains very important archaeological findings. Yeşildere Waterfall, which has a height of 55 meters, fascinates visitors with its view. St. Philippe Martyrion Church is a historic building located in the north of Hierapolis. The Hierapolis Archeology Museum contains not only the remains of the Hierapolis excavations but also artifacts from the excavations in cities such as Laodikeia, Colossai, Tripolis, and Attuda.

All of these places have their characteristics and all of them will fascinate you both historically and in terms of beauty. Let’s dive in more and see the details about Pamukkale! 

Pamukkale Traventines & How They Formed

Pamukkale Travertines are an important tourist region for Turkey. The fact that some geological activities triggered chemical reactions led to the formation of these structures over the centuries. Minerals and oxygen come together and visually create the perfect whiteness of the area. There are seventeen hot springs in it and these have different temperatures. These hot springs are visually pleasing and also have healing power. Some diseases such as heart diseases, rheumatism, digestion, respiratory, circulation, and skin disorders can be cured with thermal water. Experts believe that Pamukkale Travertines have been used by people for about 2300 years.  

How were travertines formed? Travertine is a kind of rock. It occurs as a result of chemical reactions. Thermal water with a high amount of calcium hydrocarbonate is poured into the travertines. These thermal waters then come into contact with the oxygen in the air and carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide fly off. Calcium carbonate precipitates and travertines are formed. In Pamukkale, thermal water is given to the travertines in a controlled way because its excess causes algae formation.

Pamukkale Ancient Pool 

The Ancient Pool came into being in the seventh century AD. Thermal waters are filled into the columns that were collapsed due to the earthquake and thus pits are formed so the ancient pool emerges. It is especially important for health. The Ancient Pool is open for visitors, regardless of summer and winter. The Pool is also called Cleopatra Pool because thanks to the healing and beauty of the pool, people believe that Cleopatra also visited this pool. It also gives a historical feel thanks to the earthquake’s remains inside the thermal pool. 

Laodicea Ancient City 

The foundation of Laodicea dates back to 260 BC. It is known as an important and famous city in Anatolia. Laodicea Ancient City attracted special attention especially by the Romans and the Romans made this ancient city the center of Kıbyra Conventus. The remnants of the ancient city after the earthquake are as follows;

  • Theaters 
  • Stadium
  • Gymnasium
  • Monumental Fountain
  • Churches. 

The Laodicea Church which is located in the Ancient City is the oldest and most important church for Christians. Another feature of this city in BC. It is seen as an important textile field in the 1st century because the sheep in the city are of good quality. This ancient city, which also includes Anatolia’s largest stadium, will impress and fascinate you.

Karahayıt Hot Springs 

Karahayıt Thermal springs are known to be good for many ailments. It also has the feature of being used as drinking water. Karahayıt Hot Springs is also called as ‘Kızıl Su’ because it contains intense iron mineral, it makes the place where it is located red. It has similarities with Pamukkale as well as differences. For example, while white color is dominant in Pamukkale, red color is dominant in Karahayıt Hot Springs. Besides, the temperature here is higher than Pamukkale thermal waters. Karahayıt red water and thermal mud attract visitors because they have healing properties. It is especially good for the digestive system, stomach, intestine, liver diseases.

Yeşildere Waterfall 

This place is also known as ‘Ağlayan Kaya (Crying stone in English) ’. There are two different ways to reach the waterfall. This place is surrounded by plane trees, so green color and cool air predominate here. There are picnic areas around the waterfall and it offers the opportunity to dine with this unique view. It is especially a very suitable place to eat trout. The waterfall water is very good in the summer heat.

Kaklık Cave 

There are dripstones, stalactites, and stalagmites in Kaklık Cave. It contains both thermal water and travertines in the cave. The water in it is both clear and colorless, and it is also known for being sulfurous. Thanks to the sulfur content of this thermal water, skin diseases can be cured. It is also known as ‘Küçük Pamukkale’ or ‘Mağara Pamukkale’ because it has these features. It includes a swimming pool, a small amphitheater, cafeteria, and viewing areas and draws the attention of visitors with its diversity. Kaklık Cave has been visited for tourism for two thousand and two years.

Hierapolis Ancient City 

In the archaeological world, they call it the ‘Holy City’ because Hierapolis Ancient City hosted many religious buildings. Its common feature with Pamukkale Travertines is that it is on the World Heritage list. Many structures will interest you. The list of them is as follows; 

  • Frontinus Street
  • North Byzantine Gate
  • Apollon Sanctuary
  • Water channels. 
  • Gymnasium
  • Agora
  • Hierapolis Theater
  • Great Bath Complex
  • Triton Fountain Building
  • Ionic Column Headed House
  • Latrina

Some archaeological excavations have been carried out here and so the ‘Plutonium Sanctuary’ or ‘Cehennem Kapısı’ has been found. There are many reasons why this place is considered sacred. A mythological event takes place in this cave. With a legend from ancient times, the cave fascinates us. The story is as follows; The cave was like a door to the underworld of God Pluto and Persephone. There is a gas in the cave that can kill you when you approach. According to Greek mythology, when you die you go under this cave. Although this ancient city was destroyed by some earthquakes, it was rebuilt. It lost its Hellenistic features after the earthquakes it experienced. One of Jesus’ apostles, Philip was killed at Hierapolis and is also regarded as sacred for this reason. It includes thermal waters also.

St. Philippe Martyrion Church 

St. Philippe Martyrion Church is located on a hill to the north of Hierapolis Ancient City. It is old and at the same time an important building in this region. St. Philippe is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. It is known that Martyrion Church was built for St.Philippe. His purpose to come to this area is to spread Christianity. He failed to fulfill his purpose because he was killed. St. Philippe’s grave is located here. Thanks to this feature, it is an important example of historical remains. 

Hierapolis Archeology Museum 

The existence of Hierapolis city dates back thousands of years. The date of the opening of the museum is one thousand nine hundred and eighty-four. After some restoration processes, it took its current form in 2000. Historical remains that are unearthed from undergrounds, such as tombs and statues, are displayed here. In this museum, historical artifacts are presented to visitors in three halls. These halls are Roman bath elements made of travertines containing block stones. 

Hall of Tombs and Sculptures 

Hall of Tombs and Sculptures contain artifacts obtained as a result of the Hierapolis and Laodikeia excavations. This hall offers the opportunity to get acquainted with the artistic structures of the Roman period.

Small Works Hall 

The historical artifacts found in Small Works Hall are from before Christ and have a chronological order. In this hall, glassworks, terracotta lamps, necklaces, and metal jewelry are exhibited that will help us understand the Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Periods. 

Hierapolis Theater Findings Hall 

In the Hierapolis Theater Findings Hall, there are reliefs adorned to the stage building of the Hierapolis Theater. Very important mythological events are described in these reliefs. Some of them are; The crowning ceremony of Hierapolis, the coronation of the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, the birth of Apollo and Artemis, and Hades kidnapping Persephone.

İsmail Çamönü

Hi! I am Ismail. I am a digital nomad from Turkey. I lived in many cities around Turkey during my life and I am passionate about traveling. At Nomad's Guide to Turkey, I share travel tips for nomads, expats, and tourists who would like to visit Turkey.

You may also like...