From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in south-western Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year.
The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about Template:Convert long, Template:Convert wide and Template:Convert high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away.
Tourism is and has been a major industry. People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. As recently as the mid 20th century, hotels were built over the ruins of Heropolis, causing considerable damage. An approach road was built from the valley over the terraces, and motor bikes were allowed to go up and down the slopes. When the area was declared a world heritage site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed and replaced with artificial pools. Wearing shoes in the water is prohibited to protect the deposits.
- Geothermal areas of Yellowstone in the USA
- Pink and White Terraces in New Zealand (destroyed in 1886 by volcano eruption)
- Hierve el Agua in Mexico