Pamukkale. Public Domain.

Useful Information

Location: 22 km from Denizli, south-east Turkey. (37°57'N, 28°50'E)
Classification: Thermal springs with large KarstTufa Barriers.
Dimension: T=35 °C, 500 m asl Area: 2,500 m in length and 500 m in width.
Bibliography: Ekmekci, Gunay & Simsek: Morphology of the rimstone pools at Pamukkale, Western Turkey. Cave and Karst Science, Volume 22 Number 3 December 1995, BCRA.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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antique Greek building covered by sinter. Public Domain.
1969 a management plan was prepared and the area proposed as a national park.
1988 inscribed on the World Heritage List.


antique Greek building covered by sinter. Public Domain.
rimstone pools. Public Domain.

The antique city of Hierapolis was established by Eumenes II, King of Pergammon, during the second century and has its name from the wife of Telephos, Hyera, who established Pergammon. The city was the capital of Phrygia during the reign of Constantin the Great.

Near the antique city are the famous SpeleothemRimstone Pools of Pamukkale. Thermal springs at the hill built large pools of limestone (travertine), while running down the hill about 100 m of height difference.

The pools gave Pamukkale its name, Pamukkale means cotton castle, as the white rims resemble the walls of a white castle. They are rather huge, making steps of 1 m to 6 m, and mostly white with some other colours produced by small amounts of iron oxide.

The hot springs have been used for therapeutic purposes since Roman times. Until some years ago the pools have been intensively used for bathing, so people were actualy sitting in the pools. Unfortunately this caused enormous damage, as the fat and minerals on the skin, the dirt, the sweat of the people, and of course the soap and shampoo they used, destoyed the pools. And actually it is not necessary to damage the pools, as many nearby hotels have thermal pools fed by the thermal springs. Fortunately the authorities finally set rules and forbid bathing in the natural pools, and since then the pools regenerate. As they grow constantly, the traces of the abuse will be covered by new rock in a few years, conserved but invisible.

Pamukkale Gallery