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Turkey is just...amazing!


Cappadocia is Persian for the "land of beautiful horses". It is an enchanting open-air museum and an unparalleled example of the common cultural heritage of humanity. Centered on the triangle of Nevsehir, Urgup and Avanos, Cappadocia is in the middle of a once active volcanic region. At the time when Anatolia was completing its geographical evolution, these volcanic eruptions were so strong that the lava in some places was up to 100 meters thick. Over many millions of years, volcanoes, wind, rain and ice sculpted what we now know as Cappadocia. As the land eroded, the basalt stones remained and formed conical structures sometimes reaching as high as 45 meters. The local people called these unique rock formations "Fairy Chimneys", a name that has endured throughout the ages. If nature was the first artist to arrange the decor, it was Anatolian man who over the centuries carved the rocks and built houses, churches and over 120 underground cities. The largest of these, Ozkonak, once had a population of 60 thousand. The canyon formed by the Melendiz stream, which has pierced its way through the rocks, is called the Ihlara Valley. In this 14-km long valley there are 105 churches and 4535 houses. Cappadocia defies description. You have to go there and bathe in its atmosphere, colors and luminance.

Cappadocia is not a town or city, it is not even one of the current seventy-three provinces of the Republic of Turkey. Instead it is a loosely defined area that continues the name of an ancient Roman province and boasts a history that is as complex as its landscape.



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*Things to see*

Cappadocia -A lot of visual memories and a great deal of curiosity. The visual memories primarily are of (1) Underground Cities, (2) Chapels, with their frescoes, carved from the the tufa, (3) Local Potters making pots, and (4) Rug Merchants selling their wares...

1. Underground Cities

There are dozens of these multi-story underground dwellings, two of which (Derinkuyu and Kaymakli) are open to the public. Who begun the digging of these caverns and tunnels is a mystery, but there are those who think the first levels were built as storage areas by the Hittites as long ago as 1400 BCE. They were periodically used for security from invaders, perhaps by Christians eluding Romans and, later, Arabs. Local villagers hid in them from an invading Egyptian army in 1839...

Today the underground cities are tourist attrractions and archeological sites and, for the moment, residents have no need to hide in them. Instead they live in houses set on the hillsides or in homes carved from the tufa. Tufa, easy to cut, becomes concrete-like when exposed to air and therefore ideal for troglodyte living. Some of the tour group enjoyed an evening at a nightclub cut from the soft volcanic stone!

2. Rock Churches

Valleys in Cappadocia are honeycombed with caves that contain fantastic "negative" artechiture, that is structural elements, such as columns and arches, that mimic that of free-standing buildings but have only decorative functions in a cave. Many, though not all, of these "buildings" are churches

St. Basil the Great is thought to have begun the development of monastic life in the Cappadocian valleys during the fourth century, but the great growth in the number of painted churches and other rock-cut buildings came in the Byzantine 9th through 11th centuries. The tourist who has but a day or so in Cappadocia will find a wealth of these unusual constructions, some of whose frescoes have resisted many of the ravages of time, in the Goreme Open Air Museum.

3. Potters and Pots

Every civilization has its distinct type of pottery, so the archeologists say, and Cappadocia is far from the exception. The soil, the clay, of the region is exceptional and thus encourages potters from ancient to modern times. Several establishments that specialize in contemporary pottery welcome visitors, not only to display and sell their wares but to demonstrate how they are made.[/list]

4. Carpets

The finest Turkish carpets are made in Cappadocia and there, so it is said, are to be found the best bargains in carpet price. They are made in much the same way they were made in Marco Polo's time and of the same materials: wool. cotton, and silk.
Carmella said:
I am currently doing a masssssive project on Turkey, so I am finding out about loads of little treasures, like Cappadocia.

I knew Turkey was fasinating, but I'm really learning it's even more Brilliant than I thought.

What's the book called?
Just called my Mum, she is reading it now..

"verre voetreis" by Bernard Ollivier it is in Dutch...great book !!
how great is turkey? i cant believe there is so much to see and do! i have always wanted to go to kapadokya but no one can part with their beloved beach to come with me! he he!