Cotton Castle -- Pamukkale, Turkey UNESCO World Heritage Site

Wanderlust Wednesday: The Cotton Castle of Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale literally means “cotton castle” in Turkish, and it’s easy to see why — this geological wonder is famous for its pillowy rock structures and spectacular, pastel springs. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the landscape has been a tourist attraction for literal centuries, back when it was home to the ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis.

Cotton Castle -- Pamukkale, Turkey┬áThe site’s surreal formations are reminiscent of a Dr. Seuss book. The swirling shapes and creamy colors would be right at home in Whoville. Soft, curving rock structures are created by “travertine terraces” — naturally sculpted by flowing water. The cotton castle and its sloping terraces were previously threatened by development in the area, which has since been demolished to protect the area’s unique geology. We’re glad that the cotton castle is a protected site — measures are taken to ensure that its beauty will be preserved.

We can’t get over how these concentric terraces are natural. In combination with the pale coloring, the springs and the soft rock shapes take on an ethereal and otherworldly beauty. Fun fact: its sister city is our own Las Vegas, Nevada — an otherworldly place for totally different reasons. We would love to explore the cotton castle and its photogenic springs one day.


Cotton Castle -- Pamukkale, Turkey

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