The Who, What, Where, When and Why About Pamukkule, Turkey's treasure --article by Archaeologous.com
Most all of the year, tourists finding themselves in one of western Turkeys’ most amazing natural wonders, Pamukkale, realize that this popular one-of-a-kind vacation spot has many benefits. Visitors gain not only from the amazing “other worldly” beauty of these terraced pools created by cascading petrified waterfalls, but also for the legendary health benefits of the hot springs waters (35 Celcius). In ancient times, dating back over 2000 years, people believed not only in the curative powers of the waters but it’s beautifying powers as well. Of course there is a legend: A young unmarried ugly girl that fell into a natural pool and became so beautiful that the Lord of the Denizli area (meaning locality by the sea) fell in love with her and they married. Maybe not, as you know how legends and myths are, however; people still swear by the curative powers of the waters even today. There are lists of ailments helped by the curative powers of the mineral waters of Pamukkale. Such things as stress, nervous and physical exhaustion, eye and skin diseases, high blood pressure, circulatory and digestive problems and more. In ancient day it was a religious pagan cult hydrotherapy spa and today basically the same, a touristic spa resort town.
When people first see photos of Pamukkale, located 3-4 hours drive east of Kusadasi, or see it live, exclamations of "endless waterfalls of white", "cloud castles", "cotton castle", "my fantasy", "how is this possible" etc. are heard by the tour guides. The "travertines", the white terraced pools formed by the petrified waters of white mineral deposits cascading down a 200 meter high cliff, presently gives it a resemblance of snow. You'll pay a 20 Tl (10 E) fee per person to enter any one of the three entrances. You are definitely rewarded as you are able to visit the numerous archaeological sites and ruins such as: the wonderful Roman baths, the cemetery where Apostle Phillip is buried, the theatre, temples, and there is also a "sacred" pool which has another entrance fee. This is where you can relax amidst ancient columns and capitals from the Temple of Apollo. Maybe you are a rock hound, well heads up in the northern part of the park where you can find crystalline marbles and quartzite from the Pliocene era.
here are many "underground" water resources, making this region extremely fertile. This was the reaso that the Pamukkale-Hieropolis area has always been a center of the "cradle of civilizations". Persians, Phrygians, Greeks, Luvians, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans and the Seljuk, all; were amongst the early civilizations. At the end of the 2nd century BC (built by the Kings of Pergamon), this ancient thermal installations is an exceptionally interesting example of a Greco Roman architecture. The ancients believed and practiced "hydrotherapy" added to their religious practices.
Whether you are in Turkey for a day on a cruise or a week or longer, then definitely organize a guided tour drive, hire yourselves a car and guide, or get on a private tour and come to Pamukkale. It will create life long memories for you. Many visitors combine tours to historic Ephesus, St John's Basila and even a traditional Hamam massage experience. Happy Travels