Cappadocia is a region in Central Anatolia famous for its unique moon-like landscape with fairy chimneys, cave churches, and underground cities.
The history of Cappadocia began with the eruption of three volcanoes (Erciyes Dağı, Hasan Dağı, and Melendiz Dağı) about 10 million years ago. As a result, the region was covered with a thick layer of volcanic ash, which hardened into soft-porous stone, called tuff. Wind, water and sand erosion wore away portions of the tuff, carving it into unearthly shapes. The tuff was also easily worked with primitive tools and the inhabitants learned how simple it was to carve out sturdy dwellings. The region was once the heart of the Hittite Empire, later it was a province of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, which developed into the independent Kingdom of Cappadocia. Finally, it was incorporated into the Roman Empire as a vast province.
In the 3rd century CE, Christianity arrived in Cappadocia and cave churches with elaborate decoration were excavated. The number of churches that were carved from the rocks is unparalleled. Descendants of the original settlers lived here until 1923 when an exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey took place. Today, Cappadocia is one of Turkey's most visited tourist areas.
In 1985, the Göreme Valley National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia received the official status of UNESCO World Heritage site.
Sights & Photos of Cappadocia
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