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About 60 million years ago, in the 3rd geological period, the Toros mountain range was birthed, when enormous pressure from the Anatolian plateau causes highly active volcanoes spreading lava across the region.
The accumulated ashes formed a soft tuff layer, which then partially covered by a thin layer of lava. Formed by basalt, abraded and cracked over time penetrated the soft tuff, causing a distinctive abrasion.
Additional effects of heat, cold and wind, cones with ‘hats’ molded from the basalt rocks began to be created - continuing until today. The name “fairy chimney” was later bestowed on these formations by the early settlers who used them as their homes. During centuries, the tuff layers, that did not had a basalt blanket, turned, thanks to erosion, into valleys.
Human beings weren’t the first “settlers.” In the Persian language, Cappadocia means “land of beautiful horses,” for which the region is still well known. First human beings established 9 to 10.000 years ago. Due to records, history began with the Hittites. Much later, it became an important center for budding Christianity, evidenced from the engraved stone houses and churches. Actualy, it is the sanctuary of early Christians.
Throughout its history, Cappadocia has been a center for trading colonies, acting as a trade and social bridge between countries. Being an important spot along the Silk Road.
Nature, history, and art have integrated beautifully in Cappadocia. The geography of this area formed the distinctive fairy chimneys, and over time people turned them into their houses and churches. Decorated with frescos, that todays visitors allowes glimpses of remembrance of earliest civilizations. Truely, these carvings and frescoes, by the first Christians, together with their refuge of underground cities, showing the harmony of humans and nature.
Did You Know ?
The Goreme Open Air Museum has been a member of UNESCO World Heritage List since 1984, and was one of the first two UNESCO sites in Turkey. The largest number of stone churches decorated with frescos is found in Cappadocia.
Three founders of the Christian Church, St. Basil, St. Gregory from Nazianus, and St. Gregory from Nyssa were from Cappadocia. Cappadocia’s underground cities, known with 30, provided refuge for 100.000 people, trying to flee and hide from presecution.
Cappadocia Daily Tours and Activities
Hot Air Balloon Pilot
Hot Air Balloon Pilot
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