A JOURNEY THROUGH NATURAL HEALING: HOT SPRINGS

HOT SPRINGS HAVE BEEN A RESORT FOR EVERYONE WHO IS AFTER HEALING AND BEAUTY, ESPECIALLY FOR THE DAUGHTER OF MIDAS, SUNA.

According to a legend, King Midas, who has everything but a child, finally becomes a father one day. However, the king’s beautiful daughter Suna suffers from painful boils that spread on her skin during her years of youth. No doctor can cure them. She hits the road in grief. She becomes thirsty when she arrives near Afyon. As she drinks from the water that is surrounded with greenery, she notices that the pain decreases where the water touches. She throws herself into the water. Following a deep sleep, she realizes that the boils begin to fade.

When she sees her beautiful reflection in the water after all her boils are gone in one week, she returns to the palace. When the king sees her daughter, he asks, “Tell me, which doctor cured your boils, I will make him my chief doctor?” Suna says, “Not a doctor, father… The hot water that springs in your land healed me.” He responds with an order, “A Hammam shall be built over the water, so the people in need would be healed.” The healing water that improved the King Midas’ daughter is today’s Gazlıgöl Thermals.

Afyon
From healing Phrygia until today
Activities to be done in Afyon are too many; wander around the old neighborhood and purchase homemade potato bread from women; taste the veal tandoori at Iqbal’s Diner while sitting around the white covered tables in Uzun Çarşı (Long Bazaar); climb the castle’s over 500 steps with the children of Afyon; try the Phrygian Safari at Phrygian Valley; but experiencing the hot springs is a must.

Hot springs are believed to be used since the Phrygians period. Afyon is a complete thermal paradise. Gazlıgöl Thermals (İhsaniye), which is a 5 thousand years old settlement, took the name Phrygia Salutaris (Healing Phrygia) in the 7th and the 6th centuries BC. Thermal water temperature is between 31 and 70 degrees. Drinkable healing mineral water springs remain in the historical Hammam with a travertine lined pool, which is from the Roman period. It also has a skin bath. The thermals that are preferred for respiratory and circulatory system diseases are from where the Afyon Red Crescent Mineral Water comes.

Private spas
In addition to Gecek Thermal, one of the oldest thermals of Afyon (Central) there are many other thermals… Heybeli Thermals (Bolvadin) was also operated during the Roman period and this is written in the Roman tablets. We have information on the thermal being operated during the Byzantine, Seljuk, and the Ottoman era. Hüdai Thermals (Sandıklı) that heals people since the Phrygian period is also known as the ‘Holy City’ because Hieropolis (Koçhisar) Archbishop Saint Michel used to treat his patients in here and that place witnessed too many miracles. It is also famous with its mud baths. Ömer Thermal is among the notable healing centers. It is believed to be beneficial for rheumatic and joint diseases.

Yalova
Thermal under the snow
Although it sounds crazy being in a thermal pool when snow pouring down on you, Yalova Thermal Hot Springs in the winter often results in this image. You reach to the thermal baths, which is 12 km away from the center of Yalova, passing through the plane trees. Yalova, which is also preferred for vacationing, is a considerable stop that can be spent time even in winter with its nature, thermals, and drinking water.
Yalova Thermals that were formed in 2000 BC as a result of an earthquake have maintained their functionality continuously through the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. The place was chosen ‘the best thermal with healing waters’ at Hot Springs Water Contest, held in Rome in 1911. The gold medal is on display today at the Thermal Hotel’s reception.

Baths in exchange for an egg
You can visit the Kurşunlu Sauna-Hammam from the Byzantine period, Thermal Outdoor Pool, private Thermal Sauna Hammam that was built by the order of Atatürk, steam treatment, and gastric water sections among thousands of trees located in the 3800-acre of parks, gardens, and woods in the foothills of the Samanlı Mountains. The location also hosts the Valide Baths (Turkish bath with separate sections for women and men) that was built by the order of Byzantine Emperor Constantine first, and later restored by the order of Sultan Abdülmecit for his mother Valide Sultan. Over 50 years ago, villagers used to enter the Valide Baths in exchange for an egg. In addition, an outdoor swimming pool completely filled with thermal water, in which cold water cannot be mixed, and circulated continuously at 37 ° C can be used in both summer and winter.

The thermal waters of Yalova are believed to be beneficial for rheumatism, metabolism, kidney and urinary tract, skin and digestive system related diseases as the steam is believed to be good for upper respiratory ailments.

Bursa
Heritage to Ottoman from Byzantium
Bursa’s thermal center Çekirge takes its name from the grasshoppers that used to fill this wooded area. The waters that come from Uludağ and cure many people who seek remedy in the thermal pools of many surrounding hotels are in here. The state of the New Baths, which is also known as Karamustafa Kaynarca Hotel, remains the same just as it was in the mid-16th century. There are separate sections for men and women of this period, but the men’s section is worth a visit. According to a rumor, Suleiman the Magnificent’s gout was cured after bathing in here. Later, he ordered his grand vizier Rustem Pasha to repair the bath. The New Baths has a section named as Kaynarca for women and a section for men named as Karamustafa. There are also family baths.

The oldest thermal of the town
The five -star Old Thermal within the Thermal Caravanserai Hotel is the oldest thermal in Bursa as its name implies. The Roman Spa that was previously replacing the thermal was first repaired by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora and then in the 14th century by Murat I. The Old Thermal is more interesting than the New Thermal in terms of its architecture. In the Hararetler section, there are large shallow pools at 45 degrees, which are covered by the large dome carried by eight Byzantine columns. Hudavendigar Murat Mosque is located in the west of this thermal center on a small hill.

İzmir
Reputation for physical therapy
Izmir’s famous Balçova Springs, known in history as the Agamemnon Springs, is a fully equipped treatment center. The thermal dating from antiquity, takes its name from the king of Mykene Agamemnon. According to a legend, no physicians can cure the wounds on the body of the king’s beautiful daughter. The king leaves his daughter in chains to die, where Balçova Hot Springs is located, so the disease won’t infect his army. The sick girl drinks water from the hot springs, creeps in mud, and heals after 21 days. She becomes more beautiful, fresh, and healthier than she was before.

Military treatment center
According to another rumor, Agamemnon brings his wounded and sick soldiers after the long wars in here for healing on the recommendation of a priest. It is said that the world’s first hospital was here. The actual reputation of the Balçova Thermal Facilities, which is a very good and well-equipped hotel, is due to being the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center. The hotel has thermal pools with balneotherapy, electrotherapy, actinotherapy, kinesitherapy, hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and paraffin units. For the last five years, ministries of health, health insurance companies, and rheumatism associations of the Scandinavian countries where especially arthritic diseases are seen very often have recommended the treatment center. It is known that close to 5 thousand patients are treated with a success rate of 90 to 95%.

Ankara- Bolu
Healing region
Around the capital Ankara, important thermals are located such as Sincan, Beypazarı, Kapukullu in Haymana, and Kızılcahamam. The thermal waters of Karakaya Springs in Ayaş are at 31 degrees; Kızılcahamam waters are at 50 degrees; and Haymana waters are at 45 degrees. Kizilcahamam is one of Turkey’s richest regions in terms of thermal springs. The Large and Small Springs are famous, known as operated by Romans and Seljuks.

 Thermal tourism center
There are two sources formed because of the North Anatolian fault at Bolu plain located at the foot of the mountain covered with forests. The waters contain iron and sulfur and also carry radioactive features. The area where the Big Springs and ​​the small springs are located in Karacasu was declared as the ‘thermal tourism center’ of 1993. The place has a Thermal Hotel and a Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Hospital affiliated with the Ministry of Health.

Anatolia is a complete healing center
Legends aside, healing distributed by these lands certainly does not stop there, from west to east, and from north to south roads offer many natural solutions to the ones seeking remedies.

DID YOU KNOW?
Germans that are famous with their thermal towns have taken Turkey’s only thermal by the sea, the Çeşme Thermals, under their health insurance coverage.