Thursday, July 19, 2012

Turkey 12: Hierapolis Travertines

People have come to Hierapolis from time immemorial to soak in the the healing waters of the thermal hot springs here.

Today, there are modern pools near the center of what used to be downtown ancient Hierapolis that allow visitors to soak their weary feet.  After a long walk on a hot day, I have to say the healing waters felt wonderful.

They had pools with different temperatures that folks could soak in.  But, as one can see, not many people used them. Instead, the majority of visitors were interested in experiencing the Travertines.

Travertine, according to Wikipedia, is a form of limestone deposited by hot springs as supersaturated water flows out of the geothermal springs over rock or other inert materials. This photo shows only a small part of the huge formation that exists here. 

Another view along the boardwalk of the hot pools with the valley below.

This travertine formation, known as the Pamukkale Travertines, was granted world heritage protection in 1988.  Remarkable strides have been made in restoring the damage done by previous over development.

Farther down the boardwalk, we came to an area where walking on the travertine is allowed.

The only requirement is that one must walk barefoot.

As we've seen before, the Travertines are up on a hill overlooking the modern Turkish city of Pamakkale.

Further down the way, we came to a pool were folks were swimming.  It was fun to see so many locals with their families enjoying the waters.

As is often usual in situations like this, the time to leave came all too quickly.  We left through the south entrance of the ancient city.  Notice the lintel construction of the exit through the ancient city walls instead of the arches that we've seen before.

I grabbed this frame out the window of the bus as we pulled out.  Here we can see the way the ancients created an individual individual sarcophagus. They hollowed the center out first, and then liberated the rest of the box from the rock.

Another shot from the bus as we drove by the lower portion of the Travertine formation.

A view of the Travertines from our modern, comfortable hotel the next morning. 

Continue on to Post 13: Fifteen Minutes of Fame, by clicking here.


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