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Cappadocia or Capadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia Turkey. It largely in the provinces Nevsehir, Kayseri, Aksaray, Kırşehir, Sivas and Niğde.

Cappadocia or Capadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia Turkey. It largely in the provinces Nevsehir, Kayseri, Aksaray, Kırşehir, Sivas and Niğde.

According to Herodotus in the time of the Ionian Revolt (499 BC) the Cappadocians were reported as occupying a region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine. Cappadocia is this sense was bounded in the South by the chaing of the Taurus Mountains that separete it from Cilicia, to the easy by the upper Euphrates to the North bu Pontus and to the West by Lycaonia and eastern Galatia.

The name, traditionally used in Christian sources throughout history, continues in use as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particuplar characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage.


Göreme is a village in Nevsehir Province in Central Anatolia. It is well known for its fairy chimneys, eroded rock formations, many of which were hollowed out in the Middle Ages to create houses, churches and underground cities.

Göreme sits at the heart of a network of valleys filled with astonishing rock formations. It also has the most painted churches in Cappadocia

Once an agricultural settlement, modern Göreme is best known for its flourishing tourism industry in particular for its hot air balloon ride and many hotels created out of old cave homes. The village also sits within the Göreme National Park which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Lists in 1985.


Ürgüp is a town and district in Nevşehir in the Cappadocia area of Central Anatolia, Turkey. As elsewhere in Cappadocia, the centre of Ürgüp is full of lovely old stone houses clustered around a central rock formation.

Ürgüp got into the boutique-hotel movement early and as a result has a flourishing tourism industry, in part cause it has more amenities of a town than other Cappadocian destinations. It makes a good base for all main attractions of Cappadocia including the rock-cut churches and the underground cities.  As well as tourism, Ürgüp has a thriving wine-growing industry.

Ihlara Valley

The Ihlara Valley is a canyon which is 15 KM long and up to 150 m deep in the southwest of the Turkish region of Cappadocia. The valley contains around 50 rock-hewn churches and numerous rock-cut buildings. The churhces in the valley fall into two groups. The first consists of the churches near the village of Ihlara which are decorated with paintings of a local Cappadocian type that Show influence from Persia and Syria to the east. They mostly pre-date the Iconoclasm but were often repainted in newer styles over time. The second group is located near the village of Belisarma and consists of churches in the Byzatine style of the tenth and eleventh centuries known as Macedonian art.

The first group includes;

  • Ağaçaltı Kilisesi – Church under the tree
  • Yılanlı Kilise – Snake Church
  • Sümbüllü Kilise – Hyacinth Church

The Second group;

  • Direkli Kilise – Pillar Church
  • Karagedik Kilisesi – Church with the Black Gap
  • Kırkdamlatı Kilisesi

Kaymaklı Underground City

Kaymakli Underground City is contained within the citadel of Kaymakli in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey, the village is about 19 KM from Nevşehir.

The ancient name was Enegup. Caves may have first been built in the sörf volcanic rock by the Phrygians, an Indo- European people, in the 8th-7th centuries BC according to the Turkish Department of Culture. When the Phrygian language died out in Roman times, replaced with Greek to which it was related the inhabitants now converted to Christianity, expanded their caverns adding the chapels and Greek inscriptions.

The city was greatly expanded and deepned in the Eastern Roman era when it was used for protection from Muslim Arab raids during the four centruies of Arab – Byzantine wars (780-1180) The city was connected with Derinkuyu Underground city through miles of tunnels. Some artifacts discovered belong to Middle Byzantine Period, between the 5th and th 10th centuries AD. These cities continued to be used by the Christian inhabitants as protection from the Mongolian incursions of Timur in the 14th century.

Derinkuyu Underground City

The Derinkuyu Underground City is an ancient multi level underground city in the Derinkuyu district in Nevşehir Province, extending to a depth of aprox.  85 meters. It is large enough to have sheltered as many as 20000 people together with their livestock and food stores.  It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is one of several underground complexes found throughout Cappadocia

The city could accommodate up to 20,000 people and had amenities found in ıther underground complexes across Cappadocia such as wine and oil presses, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories and chapels.  Unique to the Derinkuyu complex and located on the second floor is a spacious room with a barrel-vaulted ceiling. It has been reported that this room was used as a religious school and the rooms to the left were studies.

Starting between the third and fourt levels are a series of vertical staircases which lead to a cruciform church on the lowest level. The large 55-metre ventilation shaft appears to have been used as a well, the shaft provided water to both the villagers above and if the outside World was not accessbile to those in hiding.

The city at Derinkuyu was fully formed in the Byzantine era, when it was heavily used as protection from Muslim Arabs during the Arab- Byzantine wars (780 – 1180 AD). The city was connected with other underground cities through many km of tunnels.

These cities continued to be used by the Christian inhabitants as protection from the Mongolian incursions of Timur in the 14th century.

Selime Monastery

Selime Monastery is a rock-cut construction and the largest religious structure in the Cappadocia region with a cathedral-sized church carved directly into the volcanic tuff.

Inside, original frescoes can be found though some have been damaged. Signs of early civilizations are also present at the ancient site: Hittites, Persians Romans, early Christians, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans are some of the many inhabitants settled here.

The church is separated into 3 sections by 2 rock columns.  Kitchens and stable are also present as well as monks’ living quarters which are adorned with time-worn frescoes.

It is belived that Selime Monastery date back to the 8th or 9th centurt BC.  The upper section mildly resembles a fortress with well-preserved Wall and trenches as well as steep rock staircases and hidden passaways.

In the 10th-11th century, the Monastery was converted to a Caravanserai, a refuge for travellers and tradesmen who jouryneyed along the silk road, this system was introduced by the Seljuk Turks to promote trade on this ancient road until faster sea routed were discovered.