Cappadocia, Goreme, the Land of Fairy Chimneys, Rock Cut Churches

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Cappadocia Guide on line gives detailed information on geological formations of Cappadocia, its fairy chimneys, Göreme rock cut churches, monasteries, underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı,, Cappadocian landscapes, monastic centers in Cappadocia

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Göreme Uchisar Zelve
Ortahisar Cavuşin Avanos
Underground Cities Ihlara Göreme Village
Cappadocia from baloon Cappadocian Landscapes Cappadocia from Air

The surrealistic geological formation of Cappadocia is one of the wonders of the world. It is the result of two opposing forces in nature--volcanic activity in the constructive stage and erosion in the destructive stage.

This amazing volcanic area known as Cappadocia offers most incredible geological formations , fairy chimneys , Rock Cut Churches,  monasteries and rich historical heritage. The region of Cappadocia has Hittite monuments, rock carvings and unlimited number of historical mounds waiting for their turn to be excavated. Cappadocia also houses great number painted churches covering all the periods of Byzantine Art  from the beginning up to 20th century. The valley of Goreme in Cappadocia developed as an important monastic center after the Iconoclast Period (8th to 9th centuries), when icons and other figurative representations were prohibited. In Cappadocia Region, earliest painted churches go back to 4th century, while the latest churches date back to beginning of 20 the century.  These painted churches in CAppadocia are located mainly at Goreme, Soganlı Valley, Ihlara Valley and in some other part as isolated churches.

"Fairy chimneys" in Cappadocia were formed when lava covering the tuff (consolidated volcanic ash) gave way along preexisting cracks of sloping areas and became isolated pinnacles.

As the highest point in Cappadocia Volcanic Region, Uchisar offers a marvelous introduction to the region. Excellent examples of various types of volcanic formations found in Cappadocia can been seen from the top of the "fort," a natural rock formation.

The village of Goreme (formerly known as Avcilar) is located on the banks of the Kodarak River, which flows through the valley of Goreme in Cappadocia. The village is characterized by the perfect harmony between its man-made dwellings and its natural environment. The size of the Goreme village, with its vineyards, fields, and gardens, was determined by the number of cones used as rock-cut dwellings.

Zelve is one of the best examples of Cappadocia troglodyte (cave dweller) communities in existence today, and exemplifies man's ability to adapt himself to his environment in a harmonious manner. Because the volcanic rocks and cones provided insulation from the unrelenting heat of summer and the freezing cold of winter, the cave dwellers of this region developed ingenious ways of creating comfortable living quarters, churches, monasteries, pigeon houses, and storage areas.

Ortahisar is another Cappadocian village dominated by a fortress-like rock rising above winding roads. The present-day town is located at the foot of the "fortress," and a complicated network of paths leads to abandoned rock dwellings.

Like many ancient villages of Cappadocia, old Cavusin was abandoned several decades ago due to avalanches. The current village of Cavusin is located on the road. Old Cavusin, with its rock-cut dwellings and stone houses, had several hermitages.

Avanos, formerly known as Venassa, was one of the most important cities in ancient Cappadocia. A local cult of Zeus and Hellenistic tombs (4th to 1st centuries B.C.) found there indicate that the city had religious, political, and economic prominence.

Another interesting phenomenon found in Cappadocia is its underground cities. Although many underground cities were discovered in Cappadocia, the finest examples are Derinkuyu and Kaymakli, which are located between Nevsehir and Nigde.

Soganli, like other valleys in Cappadocia, exemplifies the harmony between man and nature. Over the centuries men carved shelters for themselves in the cliffs and rock cones of the valley. They also used the rocks provided by nature to create expressions of their religious faith and devotion to God.

In Cappadocia are the remarkable Ihlara and Belisirama valleys, two historical and geological treasures of Turkey that were inaccessible to travelers for a long time due to their location in the Hasan Dag region of central Anatolia. Magnificent landscape, mosques, and churches of this region provide a richly textured panorama of Anatolian history, religion, culture, art, and architecture.

As to fascinating landscapes of Cappadocia, this can be viewed at Goreme Village, Uchisar Village, Zelve Village, Ortahisar Village, Soganli and Ihlara regions. Another phenomenon at Cappadocia are the underground cities built during the time of Arabic Attacks to the region.

Cappadocia, which was a great monastic center of Byzantine era, was the birthplace of Saint Basil, Gregory of Naziansus and Gregory of Nysa, known as great Cappadocian fathers. 

Cappadocia guide on line has information on this volcanic area, Cappadocian geological formations, rock cut churches, fairy chimneys, monasteries, Goreme valley, Hittite Monuments, Goreme Village, Zelve, Uchisar, Avanos, Pasabag, Ihlara, soganli, Cappadocian fathers


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Last modified: September 15, 2009