November 22, 2013

0873 TURKEY (Aegean Region) - Hierapolis-Pamukkale (UNESCO WHS)

0873 Travertine terrace formations at Pamukkale

Pamukkale (cotton castle) is a natural site, located in the River Menderes valley, which contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. In this area, there are 17 hot water springs, and when the water, supersaturated with calcium carbonate, reaches the surface, carbon dioxide degasses from it, and calcium carbonate is deposited. Precipitation continues until the carbon dioxide in the thermal water reaches equilibrium with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The chemical process is a trivial one, but the resulting landscape seems to be from another planet.

Entrance ticket to Hierapolis-Pamukkale (2013)

The hot springs of Pamukkale have been used as a spa since the 2nd century BC, and beside travertine terraces, around a Phrygian temple, was born the city Hierapolis (Holy City). Being part of the Seleucid Empire, Antiochus the Great sent there 2,000 Jewish families from Babylon and Mesopotamia, followed later by more from Judea. After Eumenes II annexed the city, it became a healing centre.

Reached in the hands of the Romans in 133 BC, the city continued to increase, but in AD 17 a major earthquake damaged it, and in AD 60 other earthquake left it completely in ruins. Rebuilt in the Roman style, it reached the peak in the 3rd century, when became one of the most prominent cities in the Roman Empire in the fields of the arts, philosophy, and trade. During the Byzantine period, Hierapolis continued to flourish a time, but the earthquakes and the lootings have done it to decline since the 7th century , being finally abandoned in the 13th century.

Due to its exceptional natural phenomena, which are visually stunning, but also because Hierapolis is an amaizing example of a Graeco-Roman thermal installation, and of an early Christian architectural complex, the site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, under the name Hierapolis-Pamukkale. The one hour walk through the streets of the ancient city, alone, outside the route of the minibuses for tourists, is one of my fondest memories about Turkey.

Pamukkale - Wikipedia
Pamukkale - official website
Hierapolis - Wikipedia
Hierapolis-Pamukkale - UNESCO official website

Sender: Dănuţ Ivănescu
Sent from Didim (Aegean Region / Turkey), on 13.09.2013

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