The beautiful terraced pools of Pamukkale are one of Turkey's most important highlights. The Turks named the site Pamukkale which means "cotton castle" for its unusual sparkling white castle-like cascades. The warm and mineralized spring water flowing from calcareous white steps create an unmatched landscape. The famous thermal pools of Pamukkale and its rich history attracts tourists from around the globe.
Pamukkale is located in the Turkish city of Denizli. Denizli means "located by the sea", although the city is no where near the coast, it is believed that the name was given due to large underground water resources of the area. Denizli has always been a cradle of civilizations. Its fertile lands have been home to a number of civilizations, Persians, Greeks, Romans and Muslims being the notable.
The formation of this amazing landscape can be attributed to the strong earthquakes that have shook the country for centuries. These earthquakes formed cracks allowing water, rich in calcium carbonate, to come to the surface. As the water evaporated, layers upon layers of calcium carbonate deposited forming the unusual travertine of Pamukkale as we see it today.
Pamukkale has always had a special place among the people of the area. Thus the Greco-Romans built a town above it, called Hierapolis - the "Holy City". It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley. The ancient site of Hierapolis contains temples and baths and add to the importance of the site.
Pamukkale is not only famous as an unusual travertine, its warm waters are also known to cure a number of diseases and are believed to be specially beneficial to the skin. According to one legend, there was a young girl who was ugly and unmarried. As no one wanted to marry her, she decided to commit suicide and jumped off the travertine. She fell into a natural pool and did not die but was instead turned into a beautiful lady. The Lord of Denizli saw her and fell in love. They were soon married.
But the healing power of the water is not only limited to legends. Even scientific research has proved the medical benefits of the Pamukkale waters. The mineral water of Pamukkale helps in high blood pressure, strokes, rheumatism and a number of skin problems. Thus, the amazing site of Pamukalle attracts visitors from around the world, who come here to sooth their bodies with the warm spring water or just their eyes with the breath taking scenery.