The region known as Cappadocia, which is unique to the globe and a magnificent natural wonder, is comprised of the Central Anatolian provinces of Aksaray, Nevsehir, Nigde, Kayseri, and Kirsehir. As a result of the volcanic eruptions that took place in the upper Myosen period in the Cappadocia region at Erciyes, Hasandag, and Gulludag, a large tableland was formed in the area from the volcanic rocks and over ten thousand years of erosion and wind. During the Old Bronze Age, the Hittite, Frig, Pers, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman civilizations were all present in Cappadocia, which had previously been the Assyrian civilization’s main population center. The first Christians arrived in Cappadocia in the second century B.C.
UNDERGROUND CITY OF KAYMAKLI
One of the most well-known underground cities in Cappadocia is Kaymakli. The second-widest of the underground towns, Kaymakli City, was built by Christians as a defense against Roman Soldiers’ religious persecution. It is a complex network of tunnels and caves.
The Underground City is similar to other underground cities in that it is extremely well-organized, structured, and well-thought-out as a whole. It was heavily fortified to defend its occupants and included everything from living quarters, sleeping chambers, stables, and community kitchens to a chapel and a cemetery. There is also an excessive quantity of storage spaces in the Underground City.
Since 1985, the Underground City has been a component of a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was made accessible to tourists in 1964. However, only 4 of the 8 levels are currently available. The air-bringing ventilation shafts are centered in the city. Over a million people travel through the city annually, but there are still some unanswered questions because there are no inscriptions.
OPEN AIR MUSEUM IN GOREME
My top recommendations for things to do in Cappadocia include visiting the Goreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Goreme Open Air Museums are home to some of the best rock-cut churches and were formerly a significant Byzantine monastery village where monks lived. In the 17th century, the area became a popular destination for pilgrims. These include stunning interior murals that date from 900 to 1200 AD. These wall frescoes are still vibrant and fresh today.
There were ascetic monks who had accepted solitude and isolation in the Cappadocia region in the second century AD, particularly in the Göreme area. They were a sizable social community and were independent of monasteries and churches.
The area gained notoriety as the three renowned clergymen’s hometown in the following century. They were Gregorios of Nazianus, Gregorios of Nyssagia, and Basileios, the Bishop of Kaisareia. In order to devote himself to the monastic life, Basileios, also known as the Great, went back to his hometown of Kaisareia, the administrative center of the Cappadocia province. He was successful in popularizing communal monastery life as well.
Almost every rock block contains a church, a chapel, a cafeteria, and seating places. Two different painting methods were used on the churches. The first is the fresco-secco (tempera) technique, while the second is painting directly on the rock surface. The Bible and the life of Jesus Christ are used as the primary sources for the sermon topics. The Girls and Boys Monastery, St. Basil’s Church, Elmal Church, Saint Barbara Church, Serpent Church, Malta Crusader Church, Dark Church, Saint Catherine Church, Carkl Church, and Tokal Church are all located within the Göreme Open Air Museum. In 1967, the archaeological site was made accessible to the public.
Keslik Monastery is one of Cappadocia’s least frequented monasteries, despite its location in the southern region of the region. Three churches, a lovely rock-cut refectory, as well as sleeping and residential accommodations, may all be found in Keslik Monastery. Even if the churches cannot be dated to the 13th or 14th centuries, the monastery is believed to have been carved in the 6th or 7th centuries.
The most stunning church in the monastery is the Archangle Church, which features lovely paintings of Jesus and Mother Mary in various styles. This church allows you to see Mary’s birth and presentation to the temple, which is extremely uncommon in Cappadocia.
VALLEY OF ZELVE AND ZELVE OPEN AIR MUSEUM
Cappadocia’s oldest and most recently deserted monastery valley is the Zelve Valley, currently known as the Zelve Open Air Museum. Zelve has its own attractions and the topography has crags and pinnacles and steep valleys, and you can climb around and look at all the caves, nooks, and crannies. However, its churches are not as impressive as those at the more well-known Göreme Open Air Museum. There isn’t any regular public transportation to the Valley, so you’ll need to drive yourself, find a ride with someone else, hike, hire a taxi, or go on a daily tour with a local guide.
The Soganli Valley was created as a result of earthquake-induced cracks and collapses. The two-part Soganli Valley has been inhabited since the Roman era. The Romans utilized the sandstone cones on the valley’s sides as cemeteries, while the Byzantines later used them as churches. The cathedrals’ frescoes are from the sixth and fourteenth centuries old. The Church of St. Barbara, Karabas, Yilanli, and Kubbeli are significant churches in the valley of Tahtali.
ANCIENT SOBESOS CITY
On the way to Soganli Valley, Sobesos Ancient City in Sahin Efendi Village is situated fairly far from the major attractions in Cappadocia. In 2002, some treasure seekers digging in the fields stumbled upon the ancient city. With the aid of studies and excavations, the sole Roman Ancient City in Cappadocia is now visible.
The Roman Bath Section, Agora, Basilica, and Bouleterion buildings have been excavated by archaeologists. There is still a lot of this city that has to be excavated, but because of inadequate funding from the government, archaeologists can only do it every two years for about three months. The Agora, an elementary retail center from ancient times, is situated just adjacent to the spa.
The Bouleterion, a building with a rectangular shape that was like the Parliament of modern countries, still has a few of its original columns. The Basilica boasts some of the most attractive cross-shaped mosaics that are also the best preserved in the Cappadocia region. Around the church in the ancient city is a graveyard where numerous skeletons have been found. In the Goreme Open Air Museum, some of them are on display in a few churches.
HOT AIR BALLOON FEST IN CAPPADOCIA
Every year, for five days during the first week of July, Cappadocia hosts a balloon festival. Many hot air balloons from various nations participate in the Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Festival. Hot air balloons of various types are also taking part in the festival. Flying balloons of various styles produce stunning sights.
There are also organized events like night light shows and local and international folk dances. There are also nighttime concerts featuring well-known Turkish singers.
With domestic guided tours that you may obtain from your travel agency, you can visit historical locations that are not accessible from anywhere else in the world. In Cappadocia, you can experience a new style by living in antique homes and hotels carved out of rock. We advise you not to pass up this opportunity if you wish to take part in the festival. You should definitely check out the Cappadocia Balloon Festival.