Baku, April 14, AZERTAC
Hierapolis-Pamukkale - a natural site located in Turkish province of Denizli in the southwestern part of the country, famous for its unreal landscape, mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.
The white paradise of Pamukkale offers unique wellness treatment opportunities with its antique hot springs and mineral-rich thermal pools.
The site has been known as a spa town and thermal treatment center for millennia and is especially famous for its white limestone travertines, shaped by calcium-rich hot springs.
At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. Today, the ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.
This extraordinary landscape was a focus of interest for visitors to the nearby Hellenistic spa town of Hierapolis, founded by the Attalid kings of Pergamom at the end of the 2nd century B.C., at the site of an ancient cult. Its hot springs were also used for scouring and drying wool.
Ceded to Rome in 133 B.C., Hierapolis flourished, reaching its peak of importance in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., having been destroyed by an earthquake in 60 A.D. and rebuilt. Remains of the Greco-Roman period include baths, temple ruins, a monumental arch, a nymphaeum, a necropolis and a theatre.
Following the acceptance of Christianity by the emperor Constantine and his establishment of Constantinople as the ‘new Rome’ in 330 A.D., the town was made a bishopric. As the place of St. Philip’s martyrdom in 80 A.D., commemerated by his Martyrium building in the 5th century, Hierapolis with its several churches became an important religious center for the Eastern Roman Empire.
The combination of striking natural formations and the development of a complex system of canals, bringing the thermal water to nearby villages and fields, is exceptional.
The springs are the source of a hydraulic system extending 70 km northwest to Alasehir and westwards along the valley of the Menderes River. Pamukkale forms an important backdrop to the original Greco-Roman town of Hierapolis and the cultural landscape which dominates the area.
Hierapolis is an exceptional example of a Greco-Roman thermal installation established on an extraordinary natural site. The therapeutic virtues of the waters were exploited at the various thermal installations, which included immense hot basins and pools for swimming.
Hydrotherapy was accompanied by religious practices, which developed in relation to local cults.
The Temple of Apollo, which includes several Chtonian divinities, was erected on a geological fault from which noxious vapours escaped.
The theatre, which dates from the time of Severus, is decorated with an admirable frieze depicting a ritual procession and a sacrifice to the Ephesian Artemis.
The necropolis, which extends over 2 kilometres, affords a vast panorama of the funerary practices of the Greco-Roman era.
Calcite-laden waters from hot springs, emerging from a cliff almost 200 metres high overlooking the plain, have created a visually stunning landscape at Pamukkale.
These mineralized waters have generated a series of petrified waterfalls, stalactites and pools with step-like terraces, some of which are less than a meter in height while others are as high as six meters.
Fresh deposits of calcium carbonate give these formations a dazzling white coating. The Turkish name Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle”, is derived from this striking landscape.
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