Antique Pool, Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale‘s Antique Pool remains from Roman times, when it was the spiritual center of the spa city of Hierapolis.

The modernized pool is the prime public place for a swimat this hot-springs resort.

Surrounded by oleanders, palm trees, pines and cypresses, and littered with the fluted drums of fallen marble columns, plinths and the occasional capital from the nearby Temple of Apollo, the pool is constantly refreshed by an inflow of hot calcium-laden mineral water.

Even so, it can look murky at times because of the number of swimmers.

The temperature of the water is comfortably and pleasurably warm, not hot. The pool is of varying depth. In most places, an adult’s feet can touch bottom with head above water. Substantial areas are shallower and suitable for children.

Entrance to the Antique PoolPamukkale, Turkey.

Admission for a swim is a pricey TL32 per adult (13+ years), TL12 for a child 0 to 12 years of age. A locker to store your belongings costs TL5. Towels are NOT provided as part of the admission fee. You must bring your own, buy a towel (TL11 small, TL20 large), or air-dry. If you need to buy a towel, you might want to do it in a shop in Pamukkale Town or Denizli (or some other town), where prices may be substantially lower.

Paying these fees supposedly admits you for a period oftwo hours, but in fact little checking of times is done; and two hours is plenty of time for an enjoyable swim in any case.

There are men’s and women’s changing rooms, toilets, souvenir shops, a snacks-and-drinks shop, and plenty of tables and chairs set in sun and shade for those who wish not to swim, only to watch. (You need not pay admission if you only sit, and don’t swim.)

—by Tom Brosnahan

Hierapolis Ruins

Roman Theater

Archeological Museum


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