Cappadocia Cave Houses
Cave houses, Cappadocia
elmalichurch_cappadocia.jpg
Elmali Church, Cappadocia
Fairy chimneys Cappadocia
Fairy chimneys, Cappadocia
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CAPPADOCIA

The ancient region of Cappadocia is located in central Anatolia between the cities of Nevsehir, Nigde and Kayseri. Millions of years ago violent eruptions of the volcanoes Mt. Erciyes and Mt. Hasan covered the surrounding plateau with tuff. Wind and weather have eroded the soft volcanic rock into hundreds of strangely shaped pillars, cones and "fairy chimneys", in colors ranging from pink to green and yellow.

From the ancient times, men have hallowed out these soft rocks, and they have made countless cave churches, chapels and monastries.

The churches are from the early Christianity. The art style of the churches can be classified into two categories: the 8th and 9th century are the iconoclastic years - the 10th to the 13th centuries whose decorations represent the lives of Christ and various Saints. The architectural plans of the churches are uncomplicated.

Goreme and Urgup are two lively tourist centers. There are cave dwellings, as well as the rock cones in and around these cities. Avanos, on the banks of Kizilirmak river and Ortahisar are less visited towns.

Superb views of the Cappadocia valley can be seen from the castle located in Uchisar.

Pasabagi is another location where you can see amazing examples of fairy chimneys. Some of these contain chapels and dewellings.

Goreme Open Air Museum is a complex of churches and chapels, dating back to 10th century. There are great frescoes in many, Yilanli Church, Tokali Church are among the most important.

Red valley and Rose valleys with different color and ground formation variations are hikers' favorite choices on any given day.

Another small village worth mentioning is Cavusini where Church of St. John the Baptist stands.

You can see three very famous fair chimneys side by side called Ucguzeller (three beauties). Word is that they are a family of three, a father, mother and a child.

Zelve is one the most impressing valleys in the region offering a rough but a delicate hike.

Also there are a number of underground cities used by Christians hiding from enemies. There were rooms for grain storage, sleeping chambers, kitchens and ventilation shafts.

Underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu are the two most important. There are also two others named Mazi and Ozkaynak.

Cappadocia is an important area for shopping, with wonderful carpets and kilims and very local wines. It is also a great region for trekking and the scenery is wonderful in all seasons for photograph taking.

There are many tours starting from Istanbul or Ankara that cover Cappadocia region.

There are also tours available which include this region as part of a 7-14 days tour in Turkey. Please see our tour page for all tours in this region and around Turkey

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