Zelve in Cappadocia

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


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ZELVE

Zelve is one of the best examples of 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.

The village of Zelve extends along the sheer cliffs of three valleys that converge on the Avanos plain. These natural rock formations create three "avenues" where erosion caused numerous avalanches over the centuries. What appear to be rectangular caves are actually the interior rooms of former dwellings and churches that have been exposed as the result of erosion and avalanches.

The earliest inhabitants of Zelve made their homes in the natural cracks in the rocks, and carved out additional rooms as needed. Dwellings were originally created at the level of the streams, but as the water eroded the soil, subsequent dwellings were carved closer and closer to the ever-lowering stream bed. Thus, with the passage of time the cliffs assumed a honeycomb appearance.

 

Göreme Uchisar Zelve
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Geological Formations
Fairy Chimneys
Goreme in Cappadocia
Uçhisar in Cappadocia
Zelve in Cappadocia
Ortahisar in Cappadocia
Çavuşin in Cappadocia
Goreme Village
Avanos in Cappadocia
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Soganli in Cappadocia
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Last modified: September 15, 2009