CAPPADOCIA

cappa

Cappadocia is an area in Central Anatolia  in Turkey best known for its unique moon-like landscape, underground cities, cave churches and houses carved in the rocks.

The Cappadocian Region located in the center of the Anatolian Region of Turkey, with its valley, canyon, hills and unusual rock formation created as a result of the eroding rains and winds of thousands of years of the level, lava-covered plain located between the volcanic mountains Erciyes, Melendiz and Hasan as well as its troglodyte dwellings carved out of the rock and cities dug out into underground, presents an otherworldly appearance. The eruptions of these mountains which were active volcanoes in geological times lasted until 2 million years ago. A soft tuff layer was formed, 150 m in thickness, by the issuing lavas in the valley surrounded by mountains. The rivers, flood water running down the hillsides of valleys and strong winds eroded the geological formations consisting of tuff on the plateau formed with tuff layers, thus creating bizarre shapes called fairy Chimneys. These take on the names of mushroom shaped, pinnacled, capped and conic shaped formations. The prehistoric settlements of the area are Koskhoyuk (Kosk Mound) in Nigde, Aksaray Asikli Mound, Nevsehir Civelek cave and, in the southeast, Kultepe, Kanis and Alisar in the environs of Kayseri. This area with unusual topographic characteristics was regarded as sacred and called, in the Scythian/Khatti language, as Khepatukha, meaning “the country of the people of the chief god Hepat”, although there are more poetic claims on the origin of the region’s name, such as the Old Persian Katpatuka, which allegedly means “the land of beautiful horses”. The tablets called Cappadocian Tablets and the Hittite works of art in Alisar are of the important remains dating from 2000s B.C. After 1200s B.C., the Tabal principality, of the Khatti Branches of Scythians, became strong and founded the Kingdom of Tabal. Following the Late Hittite and Persian aras, the Cappadocian Kingdom was established in 332 B.C. During the Roman era the area served as a shelter for the early escaping Christians. There are also several underground cities used by early Christians as hideouts in Cappadocia.

Nevsehir

The province of Nevşehir is one of the major cities of Cappadoccia Region and displays a beautiful combination of nature and history. The geographic movements had formed the fairy chimneys and during the historical development process, mankind had settled and inhabited these natural wonders, fairy chimneys and carved houses and churches inside these formations and adorned these settlements with frescos, carrying the traces of the thousands of years of their civilizations

Urgup

With many cave hotels and restaurants, Ürgüp is a useful base for exploring Cappadocia. It is one of the largest towns in Cappadocia, and offers the highest quality accommodations, dining, and nightlife in the area. It is situated in close proximity to the major sights, which are best explored by rental car or by tour as many of them are not easy to reach by public transportation. There are, however, buses during the day to Goreme, Avanos, Nevsehir, Mustafapasa, and other neighboring towns.

Göreme

Goreme  is a town in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. The town is centered in the middle of a internationally popular region that is best known for its natural rock formations, often called “fairy chimneys”.Cappadocia – Happydocia Goreme, was called Maccan in antiquity and is one of the oldest sites in the Cappadocia region. The oldest known source where the name of this city is mentioned, is the book titled “The Doing of St. Hieron” of the 7th century. Macan was not a city naturally protected and hidden from the eye, therefore it suffered a lot from the Arab raides and lost the majority of its population. The churches of Maçan were rebuilt after the Arab invasion were over. It is generally accepted that the city was situated by the side of a river in its earliest times, and there are indeed two pillared mausoleums left from thes early stage as proof of this early settlement. There are five churches in the vilage of Goreme and its surroundings. The biggest of these is the Durmus Kadir Church which is thought to have been built in either the 6th or the 7th century. Its pillars and the preacher’s desk are well preserved. The other churches of Göreme have been built in the 10th and the 11th centuries after the Arab raids. The youngest church here is the Yusuf Koc Church which was built in the 11th century when Goreme had an episcopate. Two of the churches of Göreme, the Bezirhani Church and the Orta Mahalli Church are withen the city, and the farthest church which can be reached in 30 minutes on foot, is the Church of Karabulut dating back to the 11th century.The most attractive settlement of the region is the vilage of Göreme which is an unsurpassed example of the harmony of man and nature. People still live in the rock houses or use them as store rooms today, displaying an immense reverence for this volcanic earth and history. The village of Göreme does not only have rock houses, but also rock restaurants and rock hotels which all visitors find amazing. The natural boundaries of the city are drawn by the high rocks surrounding it and the fairy chimneys within; it’s a place that offers unbelievable natural treasures.

Avanos 

Avanos is a town and district of Nevsehir Province in the Central Anatolia region of  Turkey, located 18 km (11 mi) north of Nevsehir, the capital city of the province. It is situated within the historic and tourist region of Cappadocia. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 35,145 of which 12,288 live in the town of Avanos.The district covers an area of 994 km2 (384 sq mi),and the average elevation is 920 m (3,018 ft), with the highest point being Mt. İsmail Sivrisi at 1,756 m (5,761 ft).The old city of Avanos, whose name in ancient times was Venessa, overlooks the longest river of Turkey, the Kızılırmak(Red River), which also separates Avanos from the rest of Cappadocia.The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and very visible today, is its production of earthenware pottery; it is also the most economic activity in the town. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date right back to the Hittites, and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kızılırmak has always been used. It is a popular destination because of its attractive old town with cobbled streets, and views over the river.

Soganli

The Soğanlı Valleys of southern Cappadocia are great if you want to do some Cappadocian cave-church exploring off the beaten path.In the Soğanlı  valleys you may have the hiking trails, churches and weird dovecotes to yourself. You can have fun exploring on your own throughout several valleys, and really get off the beaten path.Not only that, but there is a real traditional Turkish village at Soğanlı, with people living (mostly) as they have for centuries.The Tokalı Kilise (Buckle Church) is up a steep, slippery, much-eroded satiwarway cut into the rock, on the right as you approach the village, before you reach the admission ticket booth. Clamber up at your own risk. The churches are badly ruined, but the climb is memorable.The Gök Kilise (Sky-Blue Church) is to the left on the other side of the stream, indicated by a sign.In the northern valley, see the Karabaş Kilisesi (Black Head Church), next to the monks’ refectory, and the Yılanlı Kilise (Church with a Serpent) at the head of the valley.Cross the valley near the Yilanli Kilise to reach the Kubbeli Kilise (Church with a Dome) and Saklı Kilise(Hidden Church). You’ll have recognized the cylindrical dome of the Kubbeli as you walked up the other side of the valley. The Hidden Church is indeed hidden: not in evidence until you approach it.In the other valley, look for the Geyikli Kilise (Church with Deer), with another refectory (the Byzantine monks here lived alone, but shared meals together). The Tahtalı Kilise (Church with Doves), also called the Church of St Barbara, has some of the best-preserved decoration.

Kaymakli

Kaymaklı Underground City  is first opened to tourists in 1964, the village is about 19 km from Nevsehir. The ancient name was Enegup. Caves may have first been built in the soft volcanic rock by the Phrygians, an Indo-European people, in the 8th–7th centuries B.C., according to the Turkish Department of Culture. When the Phrygian language died out in Roman times, replaced with Greek, to which it was related,the inhabitants, now Christians, expanded their underground caverns adding the chapels and inscriptions. The city was used in the Byzantine era, for protection from Muslim Arabs during the Arab – Byzantine Wars(780-1180)

Derinkuyu

The Derinkuyu underground city  is an ancient multi-level underground city  in the Derinkuyu district in Nevsehir Province , Turkey. Extending to a depth of approximately 60 m (200 feet), it is large enough to have sheltered as many as 20,000 people together with their livestock and food stores. It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is one of several underground complexes found across Cappadocia . It was opened to visitors in 1969 and about half of the underground city is currently accessible to tourists.

Sejour Turquie