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REGIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT CAPPADOCIA


Cappadocia, the ancient and modern name of a remarkable region in Central Anatolia. It is a geological wonderland which is a smaller triangular area from Urgup to Avanos and to Nevsehir. The settlements in Cappadocia had come into existence, mostly in the valleys of Göreme, Ihlara and Soganli. The most intensive settlement was in the vicinity of the township of Göreme. It is possible to see many churches together today in the locality made into an open air museum. It is estimated that there are more than 600 rock-cut churches in Cappadocia. Walls were covered with beautiful frescoes. In churches where it was not plastered over, the painting became extensive. The predominant color of this style was red ocher. The first ancient structure that appears in front of us is the Maidens Monastery. The monastery, belonging to the first half of the 11th century, and is an interesting building of six stores. The Church with Apple, one of the most important churches in Göreme, appears in sight thereafter. The church, planned in the shape of a closed Greek cross, ends with three abscissas. The Church with Sandals is situated at the extreme north of the valley. In the Valley of Ihlara, which is arrived at by diverging from the Aksaray-Nevsehir road, there are 36 churches each one of which is more interesting than the other. During the early times of the spread of Christianity, the people who needed to hide themselves from the Arab raids, carved out these tough rocks thus constructing churches and built underground cities to defend themselves against the raids. The tough rocks, formed by the lava spurted by these two mountains during geological times, had kept on taking constantly changing shapes with kind effects during the course of time, and the wonders of the world of today were created. This juxtaposition of different materials has produced capped columns, pyramids and conical formations with dark-colored caps known as peribacalari.






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