Pamukkale is Turkey's foremost mineral-bath spa because of its natural beauty: hot calcium-laden waters spring from the earth and cascade over a cliff. As they cool they form dramatic travertines of hard, brilliantly white calcium that form pools. Pamukkale is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders in Turkey. Hierapolis (Holy city) - It is known to have been established by Eumenes II, King of Pergammon, during the 2nd century and its name to have been taken from the wife of Telephos, Hyera, who established Pergammon. The city was the capital of Phrygia during the reign of Constantin the Great, and later become the bishops center during the Byzantine Period. Roman architecture dominates the city. The tectonic movements that took place in the fault depression of the Menderes river basin gave rise to the emergence of a number of very hot springs, and it is the water from one of these springs, with its large mineral content, chalk in particular, that has created the natural wonder now known as Pamukkale, Cotton Fortress, a very appropriate name for such a phenomenon. The slopes of this hill, which look from a distance like a great white speck, are covered with large numbers of pools and terraces.As you come nearer, you will begin to see this natural phenomenon, which resembles a frozen waterfall, in greater detail. Pamukkale, near the city of Denizli, has been a spa since the Romans built the spa city of Hierapolis around a sacred warm-water spring. The sacred pool is still there, littered with marble columns from the Roman temple. You can swim in it for a small fee. Guided tours run from Izmir, Kusadasi and Antalya. As for swimming, all hotels, and most inns and pensions have swimming pools filled with the same warm waters in which you can let the calcium make your skin feel silky. The extensive ruins of Hierapolis include a grand theater and a vast necropolis (cemetery) - not everyone who came to this health spa went away cured! See Pamukkale, near Denizli, on a day-trip from Izmir, Selcuk, Ephesus, Kusadasi or Marmaris, or stay a night or two here. The Pamukkale Ekspresi connects Istanbul and Denizli withovernight sleeper train service. You can combine a visit to Pamukkale with a visit to Aphrodisias, the ancient City of Aphrodite, goddess of love.