Day Twelve, Goreme, Turkey

November 25, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Goreme, Turkey

I woke up to a overcast day. However, the cave homes brightened my outlook.

A town literally carved into the volcanic rock, Goreme is the gateway to the Goreme National Park

The Cappadocian Region is located in the center of the Anatolian Region of Turkey. The valley, canyon, hills and unusual rock formation were created as a result of the eroding rains and winds over thousands of years.

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This area is a vast UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses spectacular 10th- and 11th-century cave churches. There are hundreds of church cut into the Rock.  This is one of the most elaborate ones.

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This is a family's kitchen table.

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Here is another example of a church with a cross over the door.

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Another church with a spectacular ceiling

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I found these two taxi's waiting out front of some cave homes a captivating image.  Looks like the flintstones.

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Here is one that any of you would be happy to live in... maybe

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Another church

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This is one of the many upscale hotels

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Just about a 30 minute drive away we came upon an underground city. Here there were no cave homes in the hills above ground, but all was below the ground.  The first populations of the region of Cappadocia were Hatties, Luvies and Hittites. In the 3000-2000 years B.C. 

The first Christians escaped from the persecution of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century B.C. came to the Cappadocia over the Antakya and Kayseri and they have settled here. The first Christians finding the underground cities from Cappadocia have been hidden in these underground cities which gates were made in such way in which they couldn't be easily observed and they have escaped from the persecution of the Roman soldiers. Due that they had live in the underground cities for long duration without being able to go out they have developed these underground cities by making provisions rooms, ventilation chimneys, wine production places, churches, abbeys, water wells, toilets and meeting rooms.

In the prehistoric periods the first human settlements have begun and the humans have constructed the underground cities in the volcanic rocks in form of tufa due to protect themselves from the wild animals and they lived for long times in these underground cities. There are so many underground cities on the Cappadocia area of Turkey but the biggest is Derinkuyu Underground City.

In these cities made in form of rooms connected to each others some of the rooms were connected to each other only with the tunnels tight and permitting passing of just a person. At the access gates of these tunnels there were huge stone rollers used for closing the tunnels for security reasons.

 

Up to 8 stories of underground tunnels and caves. There were many low tight passages we made our way through.  This is actually a kitchen that we are looking.  This round rock was about about one meter across.  That husband must have really loved his woman to bring this down from the surface.  The cup type holes in the surface might have been for setting out food.

It's known that there are more than a hundred of underground settlements in the region and many of them are not open for visits. The underground cities, which are guessed to be used since the Bronze Age, used to be a settlement mostly in Byzantine period, doubtless. In this period, increasing invasions forced local residents to build underground cities for protection and religious purposes.


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