Pamukkale Cotton Castle Natural Wonder in Turkey
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in south-western Turkey in the Denizli Province. 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 2,700 metres (8,900 ft) long and 160 metres (520 ft) 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. However, when the area was declared a world heritage site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed and replaced with artificial pools. The wearing of shoes has been prohibited in the water to try and protect the deposits.