Turkey ~ Hierapolis, Pamukkale, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Monday, February 17th

I’m irritated with myself this morning.  I’m working on my tiny iPad to post on here trying to let Tim sleep.  With clumsy fingers I tried to edit my post on Ephesus to correct a spelling error.  Instead of touching the edit link, I touched the delete link right below it. My entire write-up on Ephesus and Kusadasi disappeared!  I’ll try to get at least part of it rewritten and posted again when I have a chance.  Majorly bummed!

Update:  I found out how to restore a deleted post – happy again.

Pamukkale is really two sites in one.  Sitting high on the side of a hill overlooking a fertile plain, it is made up of  travertine terraces formed from natural hot springs.  This is also home to the ancient city of Hierapolis.

It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

North gate of

North gate of Hierapolis

Pamukkale ~ Cotton Castle

The natural hot springs have over time created cascading travertine pools.  Some are filled with turquoise water and some sit empty.  We are allowed to walk barefooted along a section of the pools and wade in the warm waters.

I only ventured a short way down the hill as the upper pool had some algae which made the walking slippery.  With my balance still a bit compromised, I decided to play it safe and returned up the hill.  Most of the group explored much further.  I’m sorry I did not get pictures of the lower area to share.  I later found out that I had already covered the hardest part and it got much easier along the way.  I guess that just gives me a good excuse to return some day…

Wading in the travertine pools

Wading in the travertine pools

Cliff of travertine

Cliff of travertine


Travertine colors

The hot springs have been a spa since the 2nd century BC.  People have bathed in the pools for therapeutic reasons as the mineral waters are said to cure or sooth a vast number of ailments.  One of the pools is now open for the public to swim in and is surrounded by an eating terrace, lounge chairs and a couple of costly yet unappetizing restaurants.

Hierapolis ~ Ancient City (or Holy City)

On the hill directly behind the Ancient Pool, is the Theater.  The original theater was destroyed by earthquakes and then rebuilt in this location in AD 60.  This part of Turkey is a zone 1 earthquake area and seismic activity has damaged or destroyed numerous cities over the years.



The museum was closed on Mondays so we did not visit it.

We were allowed two hours to explore this part of the site and then met back up with the group for a 45 minute walk to see the rest of the ruins en route to the Southern exit.


Walking through the ruins

Necropolis ~ Ancient cemetery

Following the colonnated marble road is an enormous Necropolis (ancient burial site).  People were buried in several different ways, depending upon their wealth or status.  The poorest  or common people in simple graves, Sarcophagi, Circular tumuli for a mass grave after a natural catastrophe or illness outbreak, and the elite used large family graves often in the shape of a house.

This shows an example of all burial types

This shows an example of all burial types



The tomb of the curses

The tomb of the curses

And here it all comes together – ruins, ancient burial site and travertine marble:

On the edge of the cliff

On the edge of the cliff

Our day wrapped up at the near-by hotel and health spa.  Tim played table tennis while I soaked in the hot mineral pool before we enjoyed an included buffet dinner.

Gratitude Moment:  Today I am grateful for the help of kind people that lend me a secure hand when I am unsteady on my feet.  I was laughing at myself as I duck-walked across the slick travertine.  Tim had me by one arm and Yulia sweetly took my other hand.  I felt like an “old lady” being guided to her rocking chair.

About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
This entry was posted in Asia, Europe, Photography, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Turkey ~ Hierapolis, Pamukkale, UNESCO World Heritage Site

  1. Lois Ambrose says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this journey with us. Your pictures are amazing. Every one could be a postcard. I absolutely love following your travels and reading about all the history that goes along with the pictures. Keep them coming!


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