Marvel at the Wonderous White Pools of Pamukkale
The city of Hierapolis sprung up around the springs of Pamukkale, a well-known healing spa since the second century BC. People came from all over the empire to bath in the mineral rich thermal springs hoping it would heal their ailments. Since hospitals were reserved strictly for people who could potentially be cured, the terminally ill were left on their own to seek alternative therapies. The huge necropolis that served the inhabitants of the city suggests that the springs didn’t heal all ailments.
Abandoned in the late 1300’s and later destroyed by an earthquake in 1534, the city ruins were first excavated by a German archaeologist in 1887 then completely uncovered by an Italian contingent in 1957. Hotels built on the site were recently removed to restore the site’s natural beauty. All that remains of the modern hotels is a hot water pool where for a fee people can swim amongst ancient stones.
This marvel of nature was created from multiple earthquakes in the area resulted in the creation of numerous hot springs – including 19 in the immediate area. The water from one of the springs had a high mineral content containing a large amount of chalk, hydrogen carbonate and calcium. Over time the mineral water flowed down the side of the mountain creating stalactites (rocks that look like icicles) and crescent shaped travertine terraces filled with a shallow layer of water. In other words, magical water flowed from the earth creating a cool tourist attraction.
Interesting Hierapolis Fact
Amongst the ruins of Hierapolis t is a fenced off cave next to the Temple of Apollo called the Place of Pluto where carbon dioxide gas is emitted. Ancient people entering the area died making people believe that Pluto, god of the underworld, sent the gas that brought on their demise.
Castrated priests of Cybele would enter the area and hold their breath making people think they performed a miracle and had super powers. The priests set up shop selling birds and other animals to tourists so they could send them to their deaths and see firsthand how deadly the area was. Apparently there weren’t many animal rights groups back then.
For a larger sum, visitors could pose questions to the oracle of Pluto ensuring a healthy income for the temple. The entrance to the Plutonium was closed off during Christian times and remains closed otoday. So don’t get any ideas about visiting Pamukkale with that spouse you were looking to get rid of!