BE PREPARED TO BE MESMERIZED
Lonely Planet introduces `visiting Cappadocia` as landing on another planet and continues…
As if plucked from a whimsical fairytale and set down upon the stark Anatolian plains, Cappadocia is a geological oddity of honeycombed hills and towering boulders of otherworldly beauty. The fantastical topography is matched by the human history here. People have long utilised the region’s soft stone, seeking shelter underground and leaving the countryside scattered with fascinating cavern architecture. The fresco-adorned rock-cut churches of Göreme Open-Air Museum and the subterranean refuges of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı are the most famous sights, while simply bedding down in one of Cappadocia’s cave hotels is ve here by the hiking potential, the history or the bragging rights of becoming a modern troglodyte for a night, it’s the lunarscape panoramas that you’ll remember. This region’s accordion-ridged valleys, shaded in a palette of dusky orange and cream, are an epiphany of a landscape – the stuff of psychedelic daydreams.
We say Cappadocia is a definitely must-see place while you can travel.
Secrets of Cappadocia
The settlement in Cappadocia starts with the Hittites from 1800 BC to 1200 BC. Smaller kingdoms then came the Persians! Persians followed by the Romans, who established the capital of Caesarea (today’s Kayseri). During the Roman and Byzantine periods, Cappadocia became a refuge for early Christians and, from the 4th to the 11th century, Christianity flourished here; most churches, monasteries and under¬ground cities date from this period. Later, under Seljuk and Ottoman rule, Christians were treated with tolerance.
Charged with the duty to go around the Mediterranean countries by French Kingdom, Paul Lucas was the first to introduce the region to Europe with his travel book. With the duty by French King Louis 14., he got amazed when he came around Ürgüp and Avanos in August, 1705. The fairy geological structure of the region, especially interesting rock houses that people lived, churches and interior confused him utterly.
130 years later from Lucas, more realistic presentation was given by the French traveller Charles Texier who was charged with investigation in Anatolia by the French government. The famous architect considered the area in details on his journey between 1833 and 1837. Then he published the conclusion of his trip and observation in the book. “Description de I’Asia Mineure” as six volumes with him plans and gravures.
European travellers came to the region for scientific investigation following Lucas. They did not hide their bewilderment. English traveller W.F. Ainsworth quotes the scene of the volcanic valley;
“ We found ourselves with a complicated matter in a forest which was composed of rocks in the shape of cone and column when we passed over a valley that lied down to the river. We were just like visiting the ruins of a huge city. Some of the cones were carrying big and unshaped rock pieces.”
The famous English geologist W.J. Hamilton who came to the area in July 1837 said;
“Words are not enough to tell the extraordinary viev of the area.”
In October 1838, the famous Field Marshall Moltke from Prussia stopped by Ürgüp while he was travelling to Nevsehir from Kayseri. He mentioned about the characteristic of the area; “An old
castle which was hollowed out in a strange way was near the town. The houses of Ürgüp were made by Stones and they were slight. At the back side of Ürgüp, there were vineyards and it was divided by deep valleys. On the slopes of these valleys rose strange castles that could be seen on ancient wallpapers.”
Fairy chimneys came into beings by geographical events. People living in the area used these fairy chimneys as their home. They built churchs and decorated with frescos. So, the traces of the civilization through thousands of years can easily be seen today.