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Cappadocia… the Persian name “Kappa Tuchia” which means “The land of beautiful Horses”… Cappadocia offers outstanding landscape, natural beauties, fairy chimneys and rock-cut houses, the picturesque valleys, scenic lunar hills, incredible monuments from the Goreme Open Air Museum to Kaymakli Underground City, Uchisar Castle, Devrent Imagination Valley and Pasabag Monks Valley and more…
Where is Cappadocia?
Cappadocia is situated in the middle of Turkey, in central Antolia. The region is mostly known by the three popular towns of Goreme, Urgup and Uchisar but actually it is the name of the very big region spread through the cities of Nevsehir, Kirsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri.
So we can say that Cappadocia can be considered as “Five Cities, One Cappadocia”…
The narrowed rocky region of Cappadocia include; Uchisar, Urgup, Avanos, Goreme, Derinkuyu, Kaymakli, Ihlara and surrounding areas…
Cappadocia is situated about 3 hours drive from capital Ankara. There is an airport in Gulsehir town, the Cappadocia Airport, and there are flights to Cappadocia Airport from Istanbul and Antalya.
The secret of Cappadocia is hidden with the geographical formations dating back to 60 million years. The smooth layers formed by the lava and ashes spewed out from the Mount Erciyes, Mount Hasan and Mount Gulludag has become rocky formations first and than corroded with the rain and wind for million years and finally showed up today’s geographic formations.
Cappadocia has also been home to many civilizations since the stone age throughout history. Using the advantage of this structure of the region, many rock-cut settlements, houses, monasteries, churches, chapels and underground cities were built. This is how most of the fairy chimneys are located inside.
Today’s formations in the region that can easily be carved, so called fairy chimneys by locals, allow the inhabitants make rock-cut cave houses and underground cities and has become a real shelter during the repressive eras.
All these were built in an invisible way to hide the people living here during the period, especially from the pressure, persecution and invasion of the Roman Empire and became the living space of hundred thousands of people.
If we have a quick look at the history of Cappadocia, we see that the region was active during the Hittites period. Since it was located on the historical Silk Road route, the region was a kind of commercial center at that time. It continues until the fall of the Hittites in the 12th century BC.
Afterwards, the Persians in the 6th century BC, the Kingdom of Cappadocia during the time of Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and the Roman Empire reigned in the region until 17 AD. When the last King of Cappadocia died in 17 AD, the region becomes a Roman province.
After the settlement of the Christians here in the 3rd century AD, the region became a center of education, religion and thought. However, between the years of 303-308, the pressure of the Roman Empire increases and the people make shelters and settlements carved to the rocks in the deep valleys, that are invisible from the outside.
Again during the 11th and 12th centuries, Arab raids dominated the region, and then the Seljuks. Peace was dominant in the region during the Ottoman Empire, and after the Treaty of Lausanne, the Christians migrated and left Cappadocia between the years 1924-1926.