Hierapolis-Pamukkale

Türkiye
Factors affecting the property in 2002*
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Other Threats:

    Discolouring of the limestone cliffs

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management issues (issue resolved) 
  • Discolouring of the limestone cliffs
  • Visitors from entering the travertines
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2002
Requests approved: 1 (from 1991-1991)
Total amount approved : 20,000 USD
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 2002

Previous deliberations:
25th extraordinary session of the Bureau (Chapter III.155-156)

Main issues: 

Discolouring of the limestone cliffs.

New information:

A report on the state of conservation of the site was provided by the State Party dated 30 January 2002 and was sent to IUCN and ICOMOS for review. IUCN indicates that the report notes that since 1992 when the Pamukkale Development Plan was issued, developments have occurred in five key areas:

  1. Construction of transportation to the site: The road linking Pamukkale town and the plateau, which climbed through the travertine terraces, has been closed and alternative options are being considered.
  2. New development: New access to the terraces is related to the alternative transportation options. This has yet to be resolved.  The north and south entrance points, which were completed in 1996, are not working effectively.
  3. Expropriations: Tourism establishments, dating back to 1964, have been removed from the site. The last two hotels were demolished in 2001. This is considered one of the major successes of management of the site.
  4. Construction of a thermal water distribution network: The development of a thermal water distribution network is almost complete. This network has two purposes: to ensure a continuing supply of the water throughout the site and maintain the whiteness of the travertine; and to allow for the creation of new travertine areas (i.e. for tourists).  The new water distribution channels are visually intrusive and options to address this problem are being considered, including changing the position and level of some channels, or camouflaging the channels with vegetation.  It is also proposed to construct a channel to bring thermal water to the site and reduce current use of water by establishments in Pamukkale town and farmers for irrigation purposes.  It is recognised that the current siphoning of water has had negative impacts on the terraces as well as on the other uses.
  5. Forming new travertine terraces: It is recognised that the major attraction of Pamukkale for tourists is bathing in the terraces. Hence plans are being developed to form new travertine areas to cater to this demand. The report also notes that Pamukkale is part of the World Bank financed “Turkey: Community Development and Heritage Project”, which commenced in 2000.  The first activity under this project was an assessment of the 1992 Master Plan.  The assessment concluded that there was an urgent need for the establishment of a proper site management system together with site interpretation and presentation plan.  A Pamukkale Site Management and Presentation Plan is currently being prepared by a joint Ministry of Culture and World Bank team.

This project is also undertaking a socio-economic assessment; environmental assessment and preparation of an environmental management plan; a re-settlement baseline survey and re-settlement action plan for illegal settlements within the boundaries of the Archaeological site. Pamukkale University has been commissioned to ensure coordination, collaboration and follow up of these activities by the different authorities and parties involved.

With respect to management of the site, the report notes that the Conservation Plan for the site proposed establishment of a local organisation, “Union for the Protection and Development of Pamukkale”, to comprise of representatives of all institutions related to the conservation and development of Pamukkale.

Although there is still some progress to be made, IUCN understands that the major problems have been resolved and dealt with and there has been a significant improvement in care of the site. ICOMOS has reviewed the report and believes that the recent problems relating to the state of conservation of the pools and visitor management have been successfully resolved.

Action Required

The Bureau thanks the Turkish authorities for the detailed report and congratulates them on the measures they have taken to ensure the protection and management of the site. It requests that a report on the progress of the World Bank financed project be made available and acknowledges the attempts to protect the site from tourist damage through the creation of alternative terraces for bathing. Furthermore, the Bureau urges the State Party to undertake full impact assessments before engaging in any new works, including further access/road construction. It suggests that the State Party seek international technical, scientific and other support to improve the state of conservation of the travertine terraces.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2002
26 COM 21B.33
Hierapolis-Pamukkale (Turkey)
The World Heritage Committee,

Notes the state of conservation report and the decision of the Bureau presented in paragraphs XII.53 to XII.55 of document WHC-02/CONF.202/2.

26 BUR XII.53-55
Hierapolis-Pamukkale (Turkey)

XII.53    The Bureau noted that a report on the state of conservation of the site was provided by the State Party on 30 January 2002 and was reviewed by IUCN and ICOMOS. The Bureau also noted that since 1992 when the Pamukkale Development Plan was issued, a number of positive developments had occurred:

  1. Construction of transportation to the site: the road linking Pamukkale town and the plateau, which climbed through the travertine terraces, has been closed and alternative options are being considered.
  2. New access to the terraces is related to the alternative transportation options, which has yet to be resolved.
  3. Tourism establishments have been removed from the site and the last two hotels were demolished in 2001.  This is considered one of the major successes of management of the site.
  4. Construction of a thermal water distribution network: the development of a thermal water distribution network is almost complete.  However the new water distribution channels are visually intrusive and options to address this problem are being considered, including changing the position and level of some channels, or camouflaging the channels with vegetation.
  5. Forming new travertine terraces: it is recognized that the major attraction of Pamukkale for tourists is bathing in the terraces.  Hence plans are being developed to form new travertine areas to cater to this demand.
  6. The report also noted that Pamukkale is part of the World Bank-financed “Turkey: Community Development and Heritage Project”, which commenced in 2000.  The first activity under this project was an assessment of the 1992 Master Plan.  The assessment concluded that there was an urgent need for the establishment of a proper site management system, together with site interpretation and presentation plan.  A Pamukkale Site Management and Presentation Plan is currently being prepared by a joint Ministry of Culture and World Bank team.

XII.54    Although there is still some progress to be made, the Bureau noted that major problems have been resolved and dealt with and there has been a significant improvement in care of the site.  Problems relating to the state of conservation of the pools and visitor management have been successfully resolved.

XII.55    The Bureau thanked the Turkish authorities for the detailed report and congratulated them on the measures they have taken to ensure the protection and management of the site. It requested that a report on the progress of the World Bank-financed project be made available and acknowledged the attempts to protect the site from tourist damage through the creation of alternative terraces for bathing. Furthermore, the Bureau urged the State Party to undertake full impact assessments before engaging in any new works, including further access/road construction. It suggested that the State Party seek international technical, scientific and other support to improve the state of conservation of the travertine terraces.

The Committee is requested to note the decision by the Bureau (please refer to document WHC-02/CONF.202/2,  paragraphs XII. 53-55).

Report year: 2002
Türkiye
Date of Inscription: 1988
Category: Mixed
Criteria: (iii)(iv)(vii)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.