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CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION

Cappadocia is one of the flowers of world with history, geography, and culture it has. Hence this extraordinary feature has drawn attention of the world and has been included into World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1985. Turkey is one of the nine countries taking place in World Heritage List.

LOCATION

Cappadocia Region located in the center of the Anatolian Peninsula, in the center of what is now Turkey, with its valley, canyon, hills and unusual rock formations. It is surrounded with Aksaray, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Nigde and Nevşehir city where formations are widespread as to the others. The relief consists of a high plateau over 1000m in altitude that is pierced by volcanic peaks, with Mount Erciyes (ancient Argaeus) near Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) being the tallest at 3916 m. The boundaries of historical Cappadocia are vague, particularly towards the west. To the south, the Taurus Mountains form the boundary with Cilicia and separate Cappadocia from the Mediterranean Sea. To the west, Cappadocia is bounded by the historical regions of Lycaonia to the southwest, and Galatia to the northwest. The Black Sea coastal ranges separate Cappadocia from Pontus and the Black Sea, while to the east Cappadocia is bounded by the upper Euphrates, before that river bends to the southeast to flow into Mesopotamia, and the Armenian Highland. This results in an area approximately 400 km (250 mi) east–west and 250 km (160 mi) north–south.

CLIMATE

Due to its inland location and high altitude, Cappadocia has a markedly continental climate, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. Rainfall is sparse and the region is largely semi-arid to arid.

FORMATION OF CAPPADOCIA

60 million years ago Taurus Mountains rised up in 3rd geologic age. Volcanos started erupting with the compression of North Anatolian plateau. Mount Erciyes, Hasandag and Göllüdag, between two of them, spumed forth lava to the region. Ashes collected in the plateau formed a soft ash layer. Upper side of ash layer was covered with a thin lava layer consisted of basalt in some areas. Basalt cracked and fell apart. Rains started eroding soft tufa by weeping through the cracks. Winds also took part in the formation. Consequently, cones with hard basalt hat came into existence. Local people gave a name to these interesting and different kinds of rocks : “Fairy Chimneys”.

WHERE TO SEE

  • Up to 8 floors of Underground tunnels and caves in Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu, Özkonak, Mazı, Gaziemir that was constructed due to the Arabian attacks on the way of İstanbul invaditation. The houses in Kaymaklı village are constructed around the nearly one hundred tunnels of the underground city. The tunnels are still used today as storage areas, stables, and cellars. The tunnels are lower, narrower, and more steeply inclined. Of the four floors open to tourists, each space is organized around ventilation shafts. This makes the design of each room or open space dependent on the availability of ventilation.
  • The first Christianity traces, the first examples of cave Churces and fresques in Anatolia. Cappadocia's most famous attraction, a complex of medieval painted cave churches carved out by Orthodox monks. The first Christianity traces, the first examples of cave Churces and fresques in Anatolia. There are over 10 cave churches in the Göreme Open Air Museum. Along with rectories, dwellings, and a religious school, they form a large monastic complex carved out of a roughly ring-shaped rock formation in the otherworldy landscape of Cappadocia.
  • One of the oldest and most complex monastic centers of Cappadocia, is among the earliest-settled and last-abandoned monastic valleys in Cappadocia. Spread out over three valleys, of which two are connected by a tunnel, the monastery is still rich in its own beauty. The valleys can provide you with plenty of hiking and exploring. The complex contains innumerable rooms and passages which also house many pointed fairy chimneys with large stems, at about 40 feet above the valley floor.
  • Old Greek village remembered as Sinasos where exchange of population and the great interaction between the locals and immigrants has taken place, see blended cultures and traditions in this smart village. In the last century it was the centre of Cappadocia and rich Greek businessmen from Istanbul built their splendid mansions here. The whole village consists of such mansions and they are all built from square stone blocks of tufa. There are wonderful wall paintings and dainty relief works inside the mansions. The village was mostly inhabited by Greeks who also built many of the churches.
  • Melendiz stream pass through the valley. The whole canyon is honeycombed with rock-cut underground dwellings and churches from the Byzantine period. Due the valley's plentiful supply of water and hidden places, here was the first settlement of the first Christians escaping from Roman soldiers. In the Ihlara Valley there are hundreds of old churches in the volcanic rock caves. The most known churches are Ağaçaltı Church with cross plan, Sümbüllü Church, Pürenliseki Church, Kokar Church, Yilanli Church, Karagedik Church, Kirkdamatli Church, Direkli Church, Ala Church, Kemerli Church and Egritas Church.
  • Set on the banks of Kizilirmak, the Red River, getting its name from the clay that it deposits. The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and very visible today, is its production of earthenware pottery. 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 superb views over the river.
  • The mushroom shaped fairy chimney valley is called monks valley because of the chapel of Saint Simon. Formerly known as the "Monks' Valley", many fairy chimneys with multiple stems and caps some housing chapels and living areas can be found here, this style being unique to this area. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon, and a hermit's shelter is built into one such fairy chimney with three heads.

THAT IS IT

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