• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Pamukkale (Hierapolis)

Walk in Cleopatra's Footsteps

Pamukkale is located north of Denizli in Western Turkey. The word meaning Cotton (Pamuk) Castle (Kale) in Turkish describes it’s amazingly white travertine formations. It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1988.

Famous for it’s hot springs and stream deposited carbonate minerals, Pamukkale is believed to have curative minerals. People have bathed in it’s thermal waters for thousands of years and legend has it that Cleopatra once bathed here.

The Ancient City of Hierapolis was built atop the travertine formations of Pamukkale. Established in 200 BC by Eumenes II in honour of the Amazon Queen Hiera, wife of Telephos, the founder of Pergamon. Hierapolis lost some of its Hellenistic facade due to earlier earthquakes and then reflected Roman architecture after its reconstruction.

Hierapolis became a crucial site for Christianity after St Phillip was murdered in the city and consequently became Christianity’s first Martyr. The St. Philip Martyrium was erected in his memory and comprised many small chapels which serviced as a spiritual sanctuary.

The city fell under the rule of the Turks in the 9th century however it still preserved the value of the thermal waters. The area is home to 17 thermal springs with temperatures ranging between 35-100 degrees celcius and flowing along a 320 metre strip of rock face.

The formations scale at a height of nearly 180 metres high. 2,700 metres long and 1.970 metres wide. Denizili is 20 kilometres away. From the 1960s onwards many hotels were built at Pamukkale, but because of the damage caused they were removed during the 1980s. The site became a UNESCO site in 1988.

The former Roman bath at Hierapolis has served as the Archeological Museum since 1984. Alongside artifacts from Hierapolis there are also displays from Laodicia, Colossae, Tripolis, Attuda and other towns of the Lycos valley. The Hierapolis site is very large and a small train assists visitors in getting around from place to place.


Turkey Travel Guide Tours