Scientifically proven to cure many diseases, Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is Turkey’s foremost mineral-bath spa because of its natural beauty: hot calcium-laden waters spring from the earth and cascade over a cliff. As they cool they form dramatic travertines of hard, brilliantly white calcium that form pools. In this area, there are 17 hot water springs in which the temperature ranges from 35 °C (95 °F) to 100 °C (212 °F). It is recognized as a World Heritage Site together with Hierapolis. Hierapolis-Pamukkale was made a World Heritage Site in 1988.
The underground volcanic activity which causes the hot springs also forced carbon dioxide into a cave, which was called the Plutonium meaning place of the god, Pluto. This cave was used for religious purposes by priests of Cybele, who found ways to appear immune to the suffocating gas.
There are guards in Pamukkale that remind tourists to take off their shoes before setting foot on this UNESCO world heritage site. Also, there are no safety guard rails since it is all natural. The kids, however, can have their fun in nearby Cleopatra’s pool, a mere 5 minutes walk from Pamukkale.
There is also a legend…There was a young girl who was unmarried and ugly. As no one wanted to marry her, she decided to commit suicide and she threw herself off the travertine and fell into a natural pool but did not die. Because of the water in the natural pool she turned into a very beautiful girl and caught the attraction of the lord of Denizli while he was passing by. At that moment, the lord fell in love with this young and beautiful girl and they soon got married.
So, in addition to the curing effects of the water, people also believe in the beautifying power of the water. As the water is useful, this land has been a place where people visit periodically for beauty and health since the ancient times. So the reason for Pamukkale to be an attractive place is not only the natural travertine, but also the healing waters.
The mineral water of Pamukkale helps recovering the high blood pressure, kidney stones, stroke, rheumatism, nervous and physical exhaustion, eye and skin diseases, circulatory problems, digestive maladies, nutritional disorders and chronic disorders. Pamukkale became a spa resort today and the center of a pagan cult in antiquity.