Turkey Cultural Tour   
Underground cities in Cappadocia Turkey
Underground cities in Cappadocia Turkey
Underground cities in Cappadocia Turkey
Underground cities in Cappadocia Turkey
Underground cities in Cappadocia Turkey
Underground cities in Cappadocia Turkey
Underground cities in Cappadocia Turkey

Private cultural Interactions Tour

The region known in ancient times as Cappadocia is the setting for some of nature's    most    bizarre    wonders. It    incorporates    the    provinces    of Aksaray, Nevşehir, Niğde, Kayseri, and Kırşehir.

For most people, the name Cappadocia suggests the towns and vicinities  of Uçhisar,   Göreme,  Avanos,   Ürgüp,   Derinkuyu Kaymaklı, and Ihlara, where, in the course of millions of years. The land has been shaped into fantastic forms.   "Fairy chimneys" that seem haunted,  and cities and houses of worship that extend many meters deep into the earth are all enveloped in an atmosphere that is ethereal and unworldly. This text gives brief information about the Cappadocian region, where Mother Nature painstakingly worked miracles that defy the imagination and where the living elements of history, culture, art, and society are inextricably linked. Millions of years ago, three of the mountains in Cappadocia -Erciyes, Hasandağ and Güllüdağ - were active volcanoes; indeed. this activity persisted intermittently at least into the Neolithic    period    if   one    considers    the    evidence    of prehistoric paintings found on the walls of caves  pointed, columnar, mushroom-shaped and even a type that looks as if it's wearing a hat! The Cappadocian region has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The evidence of this is plentiful, but the best examples of it have been unearthed at Köşk Höyük in Niğde and Aşıklı Höyük in Aksaray as well as in the Civelek Cave in Nevşehir. During the Early Bronze Age, Cappadocia came under the influence of Assyrian civilization thanks to extensive trade, and it was during this period that vvriting was introduced. Researchers have turned up hoards of so-called "Cappadocian tablets"- clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform writing - whose texts speak of tax regulations, interest rates, marriage contracts, trade disputes, and much else besides. The Hattis, followed by the Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans were all the emptions appear to have begun in the Upper Miocene, less than 70 million years ago, in which lava began to flow from volcanoes submerged in Neogene lakes. The plateau of tuff formed from the materials discharged by the main volcanoes was continuously altered by the eruptions of smaller and less violent volcanoes.

From the Upper Pliocene onwards, these layers of tuff were exposed to erosion by rain and the waters of lakes and rivers, particularly the Kızılırmak, resulting in what we see today. Floodwater pouring down the sides of valleys combined with strong winds töre away the softer volcanic rock exposing the harder varieties and resulting in the formations known as "fairy chimneyş" of which there are several types in Cappadocia - conical,  enchanted by the allure of Cappadocia and left the imprint of their own presence here. Because of its location, Cappadocia was an extremely critical and strategic region. Important trade routes - including the illustrious Silk Road - traversed it both east and west and north and south. As a result of this heavy traffic, the region was a complex web of historical and cultural intluences. Cappadocia was where different faiths and philosophies met and influenced one another. Cappadocia's trade and resources were tempting prizes and the region was frequently invaded, raided, and looted. To protect themselves from such depredations, the local inhabitants took to living in the region's cavems and grottos whose entrances could be concealed so as not to be noticed by trouble-making outsiders. Since it might be necessary to lie low for extended periods of time, these troglodytic dwellings eventually became subterranean cities that included sources of water, places to store food, wineries, and temples. Some of them date back to before the Christian era. In the early years of the first millennium, groups of Christians fleeing from Roman persecution began moving into the inaccessible wilds of Cappadocia seeking refuge. One group, which arrived here from Jerusalem via Antioch (Antakya) and Caesarea (Kayseri) in the second century, settled down in the area now called Derinkuyu. Finding the soft volcanic tuff easy to carve, they began expanding the natural caves, linking them together and in addition to dwellings, creating chapels, churches, and whole monasteries as they shaped with their fıearts, minds, and hands the peace and security that they so desperately sought. There are said to be more than a thousand churches and chapels in Cappadocia. The variety and artistry of their architecture,  ayout, and decoration are fascinating and amazing.

One of the characteristics of Cappadocia is having plenty of underground cities. 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. Certainly the most interesting features of the Cappadocia area are the underground cities founded within. Until now even that have been determined about 40 underground cities just six of these have been opened for visit. Nobody can know how many underground cities there are in the Cappadocia area. Some say that there is one for every village and settlement in the region but certainly not all of the sites can be described as cities. Well known underground cities of Cappadocia area are Tatlarin Underground city Derinkuyu Underground City, Ozkonak Underground City, Mazi Village Underground City, Kaymakli Underground City and Gaziemir Underground City.The first inhabitants of Cappadocia area have opened deep cavities within the volcanic rocks due to escape from the attacks of the wild animals and hard winter conditions and then they have enlarged these cavities according to their daily needs, they opened new cavities and created the underground cities connecting these cavities with tunnel and labyrinths. Later the underground cities were the place of the hiding of the first Christians who escaped from the persecution of the Roman soldiers and were enlarged to able when were necessary an entire city to live and every kind of fixture necessary for the living of the people has been attached. When there wasn't any danger the people living on the ground in case of the danger have hidden in the underground cities. For this reason all the homes at that time were connected to the underground cities with a tunnel. In all of the underground cities there are ventilation chimneys reaching place by place to a depth of 80 and until the underground waters. These chimneys were opened due to meet the need of both the ventilation and water. Within the cities that are tepid in winters and cool in summers there are kitchens, cribs, wine houses, depots for cereals, meeting saloons, toilets shortly every kind of living space necessary for living. Within all the cities there are locking stones which can be opened and closed only from inside against to the threats which may come from outside. The oldest written source about underground cities is the Anabasis named book of Xenophon (Written around B.C. 4). In the book is mentioned that the people living in Anatolia have caved their houses underground and that the houses are connected to each other with holes: "The houses were built underground; the entrances were like wells but they broadened out lower down. There were tunnels dug in the ground for the animals while the men went down by ladder. Inside the houses there were goats, sheep, cows and poultry with their young...

Turkey Cultural Tour
Zincirlidere Cd.Sisli-Istanbul/Turkey
• Tel: +90 532 3163653 • Tel: +90 212 2893252 • Fax: +90 212 2893252
• tours@turkeyculturaltour.com, • http://www.turkeyculturaltour.com
Turkey Cultural Tour
Zincirlidere Cd.Sisli-Istanbul/Turkey
• Tel: +90 532 3163653 • Tel: +90 212 2893252 • Fax: +90 212 2893252
• tours@turkeyculturaltour.com, • http://www.turkeyculturaltour.com