Saturday 22 June 2019

Pamukkale Cotton Castle And Ancient City Of Hierapolis: My Photo Gallery

The Cotton Castle
One of Turkey's most spectacular natural wonder is found in Pamukkale which in the Turkish language means Cotton Castle. Tourist flock here by the thousands to see its phenomenal white terraces some with cascading turquoise water. The terraces are made of travertine, a calcareous rock deposited by hot mineral spring water found in abundance within the locality. Formed over thousands of years, the deposit of travertine on the steep hill slopes as the spring water flowed downstream created terraces that fan out naturally and artistically. The result is a wonder, an astonishing vista that makes Pamukkale a 'must-visit' destination in Turkey.
By the way, the term Cotton Castle is used because the whitish limestone walls seen on the slope look like bales of fluffy cotton.
Visitors are permitted to walk on the travertines at the upper part of the hill (near the cafeteria) but are not allowed to walk with their shoes on. The travertine floors can be quite rugged and sharp while the part filled with water can be extremely slippery.

The water is thermal spring water so it's warm and nice for dipping your feet in.

Visitors are not allowed into the area on the lower part of the hill.

The most beautiful part of Cotton Castle is where the terraces are filled with blue water as there are many that have dried up.

At the top the hill, just next to Cotton Castle stands the ruins of Hierapolis, an ancient Roman city that dates back to 190 BC. This city was destroyed by an earthquake in 60 AD, was rebuilt and destroyed a second time by another earthquake in 1334 after which it was abandoned. What remains are castle ruins, a Byzantine church, Necropolis, city walls and a colonnaded street. 
The ruins are spread out over a large area and we didn't have the time to explore them all but what's so obvious is the lack of visitors here as most have flocked to the neighbouring Cotton Castle. 

The Antique Pool aka Cleopatra’s Pool
Another attraction within the same area is Cleopatra's Pool, a thermal pool where Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt once swam in. The water is crystal clear and constantly warm at between 36°C to 57°C. It is also rich in minerals and believed to possess healing properties. Visitors who wish to swim or dip in this pool will have to buy a separate ticket which is rather expensive.
The pool was once surmounted by a Roman Temple which has been destroyed by an earthquake. The fallen columns and concrete blocks from the temple lay submerged at the bottom of the pool till today and this is probably what makes the pool authentic and unique.

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