Pamukkale - The Cotton Castle

Pamukkale - The Cotton Castle

One of Turkey’s natural wonders, melded with the ruins of the past

Pamukkale, or the Cotton Castle as it translates in Turkish, is an interesting and surreal bit of landscape located in the city of Denizli, Turkey.  It is, essentially, a series of terraced hot springs that have been coated in layers of calcium carbonate over the years.  This layering has left many strange and fantastical formations, giving the Cotton Castle a look that seems almost other-worldly.  To make things even more interesting, this location once held an ancient city and many of the ruins of that city have become covered in calcium carbonate as well, merging them in the landscape.

There are 17 total hot springs at Pamukkale of varying temperatures and all are open to visitors who wish to come and bathe in them (no shoes allowed, however).  The city that once rested here was called Hierapolis, an ancient Greek settlement.  Those coming to enjoy the hot springs can take a tour around the ruins, making it an even more exciting destination.

And, of course, with the strange appearance of the land comes the legends.  Many believe that the springs have mystical healing properties and can help with curing eye and skin diseases as well as promoting good heart health.  There have even been some medical studies to confirm this, although the exact reasons for any sort of health benefits are likely due to the hot water and the minerals and not some mystical source.

If you wish to explore one of the most weird and wonderful places in the world, 

Pamukkale is a place that must be visited at least once.  Taking a soak in the warm water, surrounded by features that would rival any artists painting, is truly an experience that can not be replicated simply by looking at pictures.