is the capital of the Cappadocia region and
is a perfect starting point for visitors extensively visiting the area.
The first settlements date back to 3000 BC; its oldest name was "Nyssa."
The city also has some interesting remains from the Seljuk period, such
as the castle which stands at the highest point of the city. The Kursunlu
Mosque has an impressive complex of buildings and a medresse
surrounding it which dates back to 1726. The museum displays a rich collection
of the local finds.
Gulsehir, and Hacibektas
which is the town where Haci Bektas Veli settled in the 14th century, and set up his own
Bektas Dervish order which was based on love and humanism. Hacibektas is famous for its onyx
GOREME NATIONAL PARK
Cappadocia has one of the most interesting and
spectacular landscapes in the world. About three million years ago the
volcanoes of Mt. Erciyes and Mt. Hasan covered the surrounding plateau with volcanic tuff
as a result of their violent eruptions. The natural effects of wind, water and rain eroded
this area into a spectacular, surrealist landscape of rock caves, capped
pinnacles and fretted ravines in colors ranging from warm tones of red and
gold to cool tones of green and gray.
Dating back to 4000 BC; the earliest people used to live in
Goreme, known as Cappadocia, in dwellings dug into the rock. Christianity came to the
region, and chapels, churches and monasteries were constructed in the rocks. At Derinkuyu,
Mazi and Kaymakli, cities were developed underground in order for the
inhabitants to hide from raiders. There is another underground city -Ozkonak-
which is also open to the public. They are really amazing to visit, and give a sense of
the way people must have felt while living underground.
Urgup, 20 kms east of Nevsehir,
is a lovely tourist center and has all the characteristics of the region. Besides this, it
is the center of a wine producing region and every year in
October an International Wine Festival is held. It is an
excellent place to stay to tour the sights in daytime and to find amusement in discos and
bars at night. In Urgup you can see how people once lived in houses carved into the rock
along the narrow streets. This is a good place for buying carpets and kilims,
as many varieties are offered. Pancarlik Valley, the Mustafapasa (Sinassos) and Cemil
villages, with their traditional stone houses, the Taskinpasa and Sahinefendi villages
where the 2th century Kirksehitler Church is located, and the Devrent and Catalkaya
Valleys are famous for their fairy chimneys.
The Goreme Open Air Museum, 8 km northwest of Urgup, is a monastic
complex of rock churches and chapels decorated with frescoes. The churches
of Elmali, St. Basil, St. Barbara, Yilanli, Karanlik, Carikli, and Tokali are of
particular interest and their frescoes are very well preserved. Many pilgrims still visit
the churches. The cities of Goreme and Uchisar provide a bewitching scenery of cones and
chimney formations. Uchisar Fortress is the highest point and the view from its top is
enchanting. In Cavusin you will find the monastery of St. John the Baptist.
The attractive town of Avanos is famous for its handicrafts, especially pottery, and you
may try this craft yourself in one of the many studios. Soganli has a picturesque beauty
with dozens of chapels, churches, halls and tombs. The Byzantine development of fresco art
can be observed from the 8th to the 13th centuries in Soganli.
The town of Ortahisar is carved out of rock.
The churches in the Balkan Valley are some of the oldest. Kizilcukur Valley is strikingly
beautiful during sunset. You should not miss that marvelous picture.
Cappadocia is a land which seems to be a fantasy. Words are
useless to describe the beauty and charm of the region; you must experience it for
yourself. It will certainly take a particular place in your memories and in your