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Turkey isn’t just Istanbul and luxurious beach resorts. It also has one of the greatest miracles of nature in the world: Pamukkale, the cotton castle.

A 14 Thousand Year Old Natural Wonder: The Cotton Castle in Turkey

Eva Ledecká
13.Jul 2017
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1 minute
Luxury colours in Pamukkale

Luxurious calcite ponds on a slope, filled with azure-blue water. An impressive combination of snow white and blue will take you to a magical world. The colors are due to the occurrence of white travertine and a thermal spring; these two factors have, over the course of 14,000 years, led to the creation of the natural wonder we see today. 

Where is Pamukkale

The phenomenon we see in Pamukkale only occurs in one other place in the world, specifically in the Yellowstone National Park, USA. Pamukkale is located in inland Turkey, about 14 kilometers from the city of Denizly, above the valley of the Menderes river and in an area with many thermal springs.

The slope covered by the snow-white mineral is reminiscent of a real castle made of cotton. It is only allowed to enter the luxurious site without shoes, and you must stay on marked trails. The goal is to ensure that the site does not deteriorate further due to human activities; these have already had a negative impact on the wonder in the past.

Prodej luxusního bytu 5+kk Praha 7 - Bubeneč
Prodej luxusního bytu 5+kk Praha 7 - Bubeneč, Praha 7

Negative impacts of the human factor

Recall that this wonder was formed over a course of 14 thousand years. And yet, it would take less than 20 years for human interference to completely destroy it. Luckily, catastrophe was averted in the nick of time.

Before 1988, when Pamukkale became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, 5 luxurious hotels were built just below the terraces. These hotels offered tourists a unique experience, but they also rerouted water from the springs into their pools, which led to drying of the terraces and crumbling of the travertine. UNESCO ensured that the hotels were closed down and demolished; now you’ll find beautiful gardens under the terraces, and Pamukkale can once again be enjoyed by tourists from all around the globe.

Cleopatra Pools

Aside from the site itself, with 3 entrances and spanning a width of 2700 m and a height of 160 m, you can also visit the neighboring Pamukkale Thermal spa, which looks like a flooded antique road. Since this is where Cleopatra supposedly met Marcus Antonius, they are also called the Cleopatra Pools. The ruins of the roman city of Hierapolis are also located in the vicinity.

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