Cappadocia is one of the very interesting tourist destinations in Turkey. Cappadocia - a unique natural and historical park, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the one hand, Cappadocia is a miraculous monument, which nature has erected itself. On the other hand, Cappadocia - historical heritage of many eras.
Cappadocia - a historic name of the area, which is on the territory of modern Turkey and includes the province of Nevsehir, Kayseri, Aksaray and Nigde.
Cappadocia area is a plateau with a continental climate, few rivers, which is located at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level.
The unique geology of Cappadocia
Unusual geological nature of the land Cappadocia is amazing, even the experienced traveler.
Their education, geology of the place owes a sequence of actions of two opposing natural phenomena: volcanic eruptions about 65-62 million years ago when lava and volcanic ash created the topography. So there were cones of extinct volcanoes and lava flows. Erupting volcanoes covered terrain tuff (light, porous rock).
And then in the process of erosion (damage of rocks and soil surface water flow and wind), in rocks formed crack. Water and wind destroyed the volcanic formations. With the passage of time from the volcanic rock began to emerge some hills.
That's what formed the famous "stone pillars» (Peri bacaları), in the form of stone mushrooms and stone pillars of bizarre forms and shapes.
The process of forming these surprising figures continues today. Wind and water tirelessly perfecting these "sculptures" that rise or a solid wall or in separate groups. The height of some of the units is around 40 meters. Geologists believe that these cones are specific to Cappadocia.
Historical milestones Cappadocia
The first mention of Cappadocia are the fifth millennium BC. There is a version that it was the Hittites came here in Asia Minor, who were expelled from the Balkan lands (now Bulgaria and Greece).
After the Hittites settled in the Cappadocia Persians, then, with the light hand of Alexander the Great - the Macedonians. In '17 BC Cappadocia was a part of the Roman Empire. When three centuries later, the Roman Empire split into Western and Eastern parts, thanks to the military genius and a giant ambition of Constantine the Great, Cappadocia went to the eastern part, that is, to Byzantium. In the ninth century AD, the Armenian kings also failed to rule Cappadocia. Then came the era of the Seljuks, which later absorbed the Ottomans. Cappadocia was a part of the Ottoman Empire until the last days of the empire.
On the territory of Cappadocia is a unique and extensive "residential complex", which was created over the centuries, starting from the first millennium BC. We are talking about cave dwellings.
Soft rock contributed to the fact that residents of the area hollowed out their houses in the rocks and caves. For example, the Turkish population Goreme and now is building a house in the middle of an empty place, but rather are settling in caves. Some use a "cave" rooms as warehouses and / or storage, and even so full living rooms.
But back to the reasons that prompted the residents to settle in the caves of Cappadocia.
The geographical position of Cappadocia was a consequence of the fact that for many centuries, through the territory of the district were the army of foreign invaders. Cappadocia repeatedly the scene of large-scale wars. The local population in order to survive, chose to be such a secret dwelling, which was enough to lay a small cave entrance stone to hide.
Due to difficult access, as well as due to the peculiarities of local rock, Cappadocia has become a place of salvation huge amount of political and religious immigrants in different eras.
Well, among other things, the edge of the wind and rocks has attracted everyone to become hermits and ascetics, who settled in caves hollowed out of the rock likeness cells.
Carved into the rock ground dwelling used as ordinary people and monks. But it was the Christians who were hiding from persecution in Cappadocia, left the most remarkable historical monuments, monasteries turning the whole mountain valleys.
six underground cities in the territory of Cappadocia (Kaymakli, Derinkuyu Ozkonak, Adzhigol, Tatlarin, MAZ). Scientists do not exclude that the new city will be found under the earth in the future.
The presence of underground cities in the area found, as always, quite by accident. In the XIX century French traveler priest noticed a small hole in the middle of the mountain plains. Going down to it, he found himself in a vast underground city, which included several floors to descend. The city had air shafts, water wells, storage facilities for grain and Pet products, press for production of wine, as well as religious temples. Residents of these cities was rising to the surface of the earth, only to till the fields. Narrow entrances leading to the city, in case of danger, overlap with heavy stone slabs.
According to scientists, the population of the underground cities could reach up to 10 thousand people.
Ancient underground city open to the public. They amaze with its size and perfectly crafted life-support system.
Underground city served as a refuge for many generations of Christians in times of persecution by the pagans of Arab nomads, who frequently raided the lands in the eighth century, and then from Seljuks and Ottomans.
Julian the apostate
Let us not burden our trip to Cappadocia intricacies of life of Julian the Apostate, and a description of his struggle for power. Gaining a foothold on the throne, Julian began to persecute Christian and pagan traditions and restore order to the already baptized Byzantium. Julian allowed the restoration of pagan temples and the return of their confiscated property. Julian promised great benefits for those of Christians who would agree to renounce Christianity. And examples of renunciation were many.
The most painful blow inflicted Christianity Julian's school reform. Julian forbade Christians to teach and learn in school as long as they do not move on to the worship of pagan gods.
During the reign of Julian the Second Christian crowds flocked to Cappadocia to seek refuge from the emperor an apostate. The period witnessed a large number of churches built in the rock, as well as the homes of internally displaced persons. It is believed that during this period, Christians have perfected the underground labyrinths started more Hittites, turning them into the city.
What to visit and see
Cappadocia is now a major tourist center, where there are more than one million tourists annually. In Cappadocia built hotels of different levels - from the elite and even unique to the most simple. There are provided a variety of entertainment services - trails for skiing, mountain jeep safaris, ethnic festivals, ballooning. Transportation - car, by bus or minibus (dolmus), allows access to the main attractions. For tourists in Cappadocia there are many opportunities to stock up experience of a lifetime.
In addition to tours of the cave dwellings and churches, in addition to exploring the underground city, you can take heart and fly at dawn, in a balloon. Courage after the flight will be rewarded with a glass of champagne.
Admire the ancient frescoes, buy souvenirs from magnets (ordered in China) to unique and, of course, doroguschih handmade carpets. Well, exotics lovers can spend the night in a hotel room which knocked out in the rock.
Until we meet again, with respect, Elena.