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CAPPADOCIA

CAPPADOCIA

Cappadocia region located in the Central Anatolia. Its climate is typical Anatolia climate, winters are snowy and cold, summers are hot and dry. Its altitude 1.224 m (4 ft), its area 568 km2 (219,3 m2) And its population about 126.327.

Strabon, one of the most important author of Ancient Era writes the border of Cappadocia in his book ‘’Geographica’’ . According to Strabo, Cappadocia region covered very large area with borders of Euphrates river on the east and Red River on the West, Black Sea region on the North and Taurus Mountains on the South.

Today when we call Cappadocia it is a name of a region between Nevşehir, Kayseri, Niğde, Aksaray and Kırşehir cities. But rocky Cappadica with its natural rock formations ‘’Fairy chimneys’’ , valleys, underground cities, cave churches located around the villages Avanos, Çavuşin, Göreme, Uçhisar, Ürgüp, Derinkuyu, Kaymaklı, Ihlara and its surroundings.

The surrealistic geological formation of Cappadocia is one of the wonders of the World. It is a result of the natural forces during the intense volcanic activities. These volcanic activities started 10 million years ago with eruption of Erciyes Mountain(3917 m. Kayseri), Hasan Mountain(3253 m.Aksaray), Melendiz Mountain(2963 m. Niğde). It is estimated that they finally erupted around 7500 B.C.

After numerous eruptions volcanic materials slowly ran towards the depressed areas and covered the previously formed hills and valleys. This geological activity changed the general landscape of region, by giving it the appereance of a plateau.

Wind, climate, mechanical weathering, rain, snow and rivers caused the erosion giving the Cappadocia its unusual and characteristic rock formations. These rock formations are in different types and shapes named conical, mushroom, column and headed fairy chimneys. (The name ‘’ fairy chimney’’ was given by a Frenchman, Paul Lucas in 17 century. ) As the top layer of these rocks are extremely soft, it can be easily carved. All communities who lived in Cappadocia took advantage of this to make their home in the rock pillars and under the ground. This cave architecture was started about 4.000 years ago by Hittites and continued by others, especially during Byzantium Empire cave churches and hermitages in the valleys were carved by Christians. Today these examples of homes, churches and underground cities are abound in Cappadocia.