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KAPADOKYA

Cappadocia region is the most beautiful place where nature and history meet in the world. While geographical events formed the Chimney Rocks, during history process, people carried the marks of thousand- year- old civilizations today by carving houses and churches inside the chimney rocks and by adorning these with fresco. Written history of Cappadocia where human settlement goes back to Paleolithic age starts with Hittites. Sheltering trade colonies throughout history and forming a commercial and social bridge between countries, Cappadocia is also one of the important intersections of Silk Road.


60 million years ago in the 3.Geologic age, Taurus Mountains emerged. Volcanoes started to become active with the tightening of Anatolian Tableland in the North. Erciyes, Hasandagi and Göllüdag which is between these two started to sprew out lava. Ashes which accumulated in the tableland formed a soft tufa layer. Tufa layer was covered by a thin lava layer some parts of which were solid basalt. Basalt fell apart by cracking. Rain leaked through the cracks and started to erode the soft tufa. Heated and cold air and the winds also contributed to the formation. Thus, cones with hard basalt hats were formed. People named these different and interesting rocks: "Chimney Rocks".


Tufa layers without basalt cover turned into valleys with erosion. Canyons with interesting shapes were formed. Later on, people's hand and emotions settled down to work. A great civilization, composed of settlements going back to nine-ten thousand years ago, churches carved inside the caves by the first Christians, great and safe underground cities, was created in a long period.


Nowadays, the region is of vital importance in terms of tourism. Traditional Cappadocian houses carved inside the caves and pigeon houses reveal the originality of the region. These houses were built on the slopes in nineteenth century using either rocks or hewn stone. Stone, the only architectural material of the region, can be easily processed as it is soft after it is taken out of the mine because of the volcanic structure of the region, however; when it contacts with the air it becomes hard and turns into a durable building material. Because the material being used is abundant and easily processed, stone workmanship special to the region developed and has become an architectural tradition.


The surface of the pigeon houses were decorated with rich ornaments and inscriptions by regional artists. The region is also famous for grape farming and wine industry.

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