Pamukkale & Aphrodisias July 2013

Pamukkale, which translates to “Cotton Castle”, is a natural site in southwestern Turkey. The white terraces here are made of travertine, and not salt, which is a sedimentary rock deposited by water flowing from the hot springs.  The water from the hot springs are supersaturated with calcium carbonate and when the carbon dioxide de-gasses from it, the white calcium carbonate is deposited as a soft jelly that eventually hardens into travertine.  People have bathed in these pools for thousands of years.

Because of the healing properties of these pools, the ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the terraces and used as a spa since the 2nd century BC.  Hierapolis together with Pamukkale was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.  Tourists are now only allowed into the smaller pools and must remove their shoes to protect the deposits.










DSC01859The ancient city of Hierapolis above Pamukkale.

DSC01860The ruins of Hierapolis.



Aphrodisias was a small Greek city named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love.  It is best seen on the way to or from Pamukkale.

DSC01864The monumental gateway at Aphrodisias.

DSC01869The stadium at Aphrodisias with a maximum capacity for 30,000 spectators.

DSC01871The odeon or council house at Aphrodisias.

DSC01875Theatre at Aphrodisias

DSC01876Marble sculptures and sculptors from Aphrodisias were famous in the Roman world.


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