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Cappadocia

 

This region is basically the area covered by Nevşehir, Aksaray, Kayseri and Niğde. The history of the region extends back to 3000s B.C. Assyrian trade colonies and Hittites. Name Cappadocia comes from Katpatuka in Persian period which means “land of beautiful horses”.

This territory is one of the places that first Anatolia Christians have lived. The Christians, who were under very big pressure during the Rome Empire where paganism was common, were moving from the big cities to rocky and hidden places like Cappadocia.

Hasan was an active volcano in geological period. The formation of the region occurred by the tuff and lava of Melendiz and Erciyes Mountains. There are hundreds of churches, monasteries and monk cells which were carved into tuff rocks which are easy to work. Cappadocia became largely Christian after the religious freedom given by Constantine the Great (306-337 A.D.).

 

This place evaluated today’s formation by the tuffs and lavas the mountains (Hasan, Melendiz, and Erciyes) spew out that were active in geologic time. The tuff which is very tractable has helped to 

sculpt greywacke in order to build hundreds of churches, monasteries and monk cells. When Constantine the Great gave the Christians religious freedom, most of the Cappadocia became Christian.

In addition to underground cities that shaped by villagers, fairy chimneys are also one of the interesting natural formations of the territory. Fairy chimneys are formed by wearing out mass of the tuff under the rocks by flood water and wind. Therefore, the elevations that were protected by rocks are called “fairy chimneys”. Fairy chimneys mostly intensify in triangle of Göreme – Ürgüp - Avanos.

 

Because Cappadocia territory has experienced lots of attacks in the past, underground cities were built to provide protection in any circumstances of danger. In case of emergency, the people that lived in savannas took refuge to underground cities; the people that live in highlands took refuge to rock churches and cells.

 

Both rock churches which were decorated with frescos and fantastic rock formations, underground cites, make the Cappadocia the most important tourism center of Turkey.