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{2 Julai 2007}   “Cotton Castle”


Pamukkale is a natural site and attraction in South-Western Turkey, Denizli Province. Pamukkale also known as “Cotton Castle”. It is located in Turkey’s Inner Aegean Region, in the river Menderes Valley, which enjoys a temperate climate over the greater part of the year. City of Hierapolis was built on top of white castle. It is about 2700 meters long and 160 meters high. We can seen it from a great distance, (20 KM away, when driving down the hills on the opposite side of Valley to the town of Denizli).




As we know, tectonic movement play rolls in creating places in the world, and same goes to Pamukkale. The tectonic movements that took place in the fault depression of the Menderes river basin did not only cause frequent earthquakes, but also gave rise to the emergence of the number of very hot springs, and it is the water from of these springs, with its large mineral content- chalk in particular. This created Pamukkale. The water (Pamukkale) contains large amounts of hydrogen carbonate and calcium, which leads to the precipitation of calsium bi-carbonate, and also radioactive material. The effect of this natural phenomenon leaves thick white layers of limestone and travertine cascading down the mountain slope, making the area look like a fortress of cotton or a frozen waterfall. 



Pamukkale is a very famous tourist attraction of Turkey. Only a few other places in the world are somewhat similar, such as the Mammoth Hot Springs in the USA and Huanglong in Sichuan Province of China. Unfortunately, Pamukkale was abused for decades in the late 20th century. This happen because of the hotels built on top of the site, destroying parts of the remains of Hierapolis. The hot water was taken to fill the hotel pools and the waste water spilled over the monument itself turning it brownish. Besides that, a tarmac road ramp was built right into the main part. People walked around with shoes, washed themselves with soap and shampoo in the pools, and even rode bike and motorbikes up and down the slopes.


But, then the officials finally acted to save Pamukkale. The hotels were demolished, and the road ramp was covered with artificial pools which nowadays are accessible to bare-footed tourists. Tadpoles also can found in there. A small trench was carved along the outside of the ramp, to collect the water and prevent it from spilling in the “Wrong Places”. The underground volcanic activity which causes the hot springs, also caused carbon dioxide to seep into a cave which as a result was called the plutonium (“place of the God of the dead”.)




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