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The white travertine pools of Pamukkale cascade down the cliffs below the ancient Roman city of Hierapolis, located on the hills above the Menderes river valley. The water trickles and flows down the walls leaving behind the famous “cotton fortresses” of minerals. For nearly a thousand years, people have been coming to the region to soak in the unique “champagne waters” that are heated by geothermal activity and the area has received UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. Since we are big fans of geothermal pools around the world, we knew we had to visit the Pamukkale hot springs.
Within the Pamukkale-Hierapolis complex is Cleopatra’s Pool (sometimes called the Pamukkale Antique Pool). According to legend, this artificially sculpted pool was a gift from Marc Anthony to Cleopatra. In the 7th Century, an earthquake toppled the surrounding building and the massive marble columns tumbled into the pool – where they rest on the bottom to this day and visitors can swim among them (hence the name “antique” in the Pamukkale Antique Pool).

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