A fragment of another planet, a mirage of stone in the heart of Anatolia... There are parts of the Earth which do not seem really belong to; Cappadocia is one of them, a strange and spectacular landscape from the pages of science fiction. It is an extraordinary region, unmatched in the world. A fascinating beauty. An incredible harmony of shapes and colors. An ideal landscape for history and art lovers.
What could possibly lie behind the creation of such an alien place?
The name “Cappadocia” dates back to Persian times, when the region was called as “katpatukya” meaning “Land of Beautiful Horses”. Since that time Cappadocia has seen the rise and fall of many different civilizations. It is a land of vast plains, rolling hills, rugged mountains and extinct volcanoes. It is a veritable treasure of historical relics from the Chalcolithic era to the Seljuk Turks period. The visitor may seldom travel more then a few miles without encountering some wonderful reminders of Cappadocia's colorful past.
In recent times, Cappadocia became famous for its unique landscape of valleys and unusual rock formations, known as "fairy chimneys". The formation of this strange landscape started during the third geological period, when three volcanoes located on the edges of this region began erupting frequently. The deposits of volcanoes ash, lava and basalt laid the foundations for today's landscape. Earthquakes and ongoing effects of erosion have contributed to form the valleys and the "fairy chimneys" that can be seen today.
As the rock below the top layer of basalt is extremely soft, it can be easily carved. Communities took advantage of this to make their home in the rock pillars and under the ground. Today, these examples of homes, churches and whole cities abound in Cappadocia.