Turkey Tours

Cappadocia Tours


The city was founded by Frigs. Persians and Macedonians turned it into a major city. After Romans and Byzantines, Seljuks took control of the city after the year 1071. Seljuks actually called the city “Muskara”. It is in the Kizilirmak valley that goes through Nevsehir and on the plateaus that are in the north and south of this vallet. The altitude of the city is between 500-1000m and most of the geological and historical wonders that we have mentioned in this book such as unique valleys, fairy chimneys, dwellings carved into the rock, underground cities, open air musuems, and churches engraved into the rock are in the borders of this city. This region looks more like it actually belongs to a different planet other than Earth. The major historical monuments of the city include Nevşehir castle, Kuyu Mosque and Kurşunlu Mosque.


Cappadocia Region covers Nevşehir, Aksaray, Kırşehir, Kayseri, Niğde, Yozgat and Malatya provinces nowadays. When it is mentioned about historical and natural richness and beauties and also Cappadocia; Göreme, Ürgüp, Avanos, Uçhisar, Ortahisar, Çavuşin, Pasabağ, Zelve, Mustafapaşa (Sinassos), Derinkuyu, and Kaymaklı, bounded to Aksaray; And Soğanlı Valley, located within boundaries of Kayseri province, are the first thought names and places. Furthermore, there are many underground settlements (city), mainly Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı. Findings, obtained from excavations, which are made on Musular and Aşıklı höyük in the vicinity of Kızılkaya village, bounded to Gülağaç Country, Aksaray Province, show that first settlements in Cappadocia region date back B.C. 7000; settlements in Cappadocia region, Güvercin Kayası tumulus date back B.C. 8000. Script enters into Anatolia for the first time with establishment of a trade colony by Assyrians in Kültepe, located in the vicinity of Kayseri Province in Cappadocia region betweeb B.C. 1950-1750. Region is ruled respectively by Hittites in B.C. 1650-1200 years, Phrygians in B.C. 750, Lydians in the middle of B.C. 7th Century, Persians in B.C. 546, Alexander the Great Empire in B.C. 333. Cappadocia people live as princedomes and feudalities after Alexander the Great Empire in B.C. 323, and they are ruled by Roman Empire in B.C. 17. Region which enters under Anatolian Seljuks Empire rule, is captured certainly by Ottomans in 15th Century. Compositions, called Fairy Chimneys, occurred by lavas, emerging through eruption of Erciyes Mount and Hasan Mount and other mountains between these two mountains in the Middle Anatolia, are eroded by natural conditions such as rain and wind. These compositions, reflecting a different world, may be deemed as one of the most leading natural wonders of the world. Cappadocia, which means Land of Beautiful Horses, is important in terms of history and nature as well as it is very important region in terms of religion. Although Christianity begins in A.D. 1st Century, Cappadocia becomes the enter of Christianity religion by beginning from A.D. 3rd Century. It is the region of Churches, Saints and Church Fathers. Besides Saint Georgios, other famous saints of Cappadocia are mainly as follows: Great Saint Basileious from Kayseri, Saint Gregorios from Nazianzos. Fairy Chimneys, rock churces, underground cities and Göreme are the first thought places when it is mentioned about Cappadocia.  There are various structures, dated as 9th, 10th, and 11th Century and beginning of 12th Century and caved in rocks in Göreme outdoor museum and outside the museum. We can list some of them as follows. Adsız Church, Elmalı Church, St. Barbara Church, Yılanlı Church, Chapel, Karanlık Church, St. Catherina Church, Çarıklı Church, Maidens Monastery and dining Hall locations are located in Göreme outdoor museum.

Tokalı Church, The Virgin Mary Church, Saklı church, El Nazar Church and Kılıçlar Church, located in Göreme Vallet outside Outdoor Museum,  are among the other important churches. Among these churches, Karanlık Church, belonging to middle of 11th Century, is in Greek cross plan with two floors and four columns and central dome and with three abscissas and Birth of Jesus, Deisis, Crucifying and Ascension scenes are attractive among various scenes, belonging to Jesus’s life, on the frescos inside it. Furthermore, some scenes, received from Old testament, are also depictured. Life of Jesus is explained with depictures on the frescos of Tokali Church, which is the biggest church of the region and constructed in 10th Century. Çarıklı Church, belonging to 11th Century, is constructed with two floors. There are three rooms in the ground floor and main church is on the upper floor. Scenes, which are received from life of Jesus and some subjects of Old testament are depictured in the frescos on the walls of this church. Elmalı Church, dated as middle of 12th Century, is constructed with four columns and with single nave in the plan of Greek cross. Scenes belonging to life of Jesus, and some scenes, which are received from Old testament, are also depictured in the frescos of this church. St. Barbara Church, dated as first half of 11th Century, is constructed according to covered Greek cross plan. Depictures of Pantokrator Jesus, St. Georgios and Theodoros and St. Barbara are located on the frescos. Yılanlı Church, dated as 11th Century, has two sections, there is a gate with two columns and vault, dividing two sections from each other. Deisis scene is located in the abscissa section and depictures of St. Onosimos, St. Georgios and St. Theodoros, and also emperor Constantinus and his mother Helena are situated in the left in the entrance. El Nazar Church, dated as 10th Century, is devastated substantially due to stroke of lightning and undergoes repair. It has two floor and depictures of Jesus, angles and saints are located inside it. Jesus is depicted inside a medalion, surrounded with angles,in the dome of church. Uçhisar and Ortahisar towns are located between Nevşehir and Göreme. These towns are name after castles near them. Ortahisar town attracts attention with historical castle,monasteries and churhces. Uçhisar castle attracts attention with its houses caved in rocks. It is the attraction center for domestic and foreign visitors due to fairy chimneys, underground settlements, houses caved in rocks around Ürgüp. There are works, belonging to Seljuks and Ottoman period, and also a museum, in which archaeological and ethnographic works are exhibited, in the county. Stone houses, Holy Apostles Church, Keşlik Church, St. Basil Church, Tavşanlı Church, belonging to 19th Century are the places, which are required to be visited in Mustafapaşa, whose old name is Sinosos. Furthermore, Çavuşin, Zelve, Outdoor Museum and Paşabag are the important places, which are required to be visited. There are about 50 churches and monasteries, which are constructed in different sizes between 9th and 13th  centuries in Soğanlı Valley. Some of these churches are Karabaş Church, Tokalı Church, Yılanlı Church, St. Georgias Church, Azize Barbara Church, Kubbeli Church. There are about 36 churches in Ihlara Valley, in the length of 14km. Sümbüllü Church,  Ağaçaltı Church,  Yılanlı Church, Kokar Church,  are some of the important churches in this valley. Güzelyurt is also a small example of Cappadocia with undergound cities, churches, structures caved in rocks, Monastery Valley and fairy chimneys. Xenophon, who is one of the famous authors in ancient age, (B.C. 430-355), mentions about underground settlements in Cappadocia in his work, named as Anabasis. People, living in the region, were sheltering and hid gere temporarily in order to protect their life and property in case of emergency or war. Underground city were made by caving rocks and equipped in full. Everything for human requirement such as wide sheep fold for the animals, ventilation pipes, sitting plcaes, worshipping places, bedrooms,kitchens, provisions stores, tandoori, fermented grape juice stores, toilets, communication channels with outside etc. are thought and constructed in the underground cities. There are about 200 underground settlements in the region. The biggest underground city in the region is Derinkuyu underground city in 29km far away Nevsehir. Depth reaches to 85 m. in the underground city, whose 8 floors are opened for public visits. The other big undeground city is Kaymaklı underground city, only for floors of this underground city, are brought into open. Ozkonak, Saratlı, Acıgöl – Tatlarin, Mazı, Ağzıkarahan, Pınarbaşı, Ozkonak – Saruhan hostel, Dolayhan Hostel and Til are some of the other underground cities.

Big hostels are constructed on the trade roads, passing through Cappadocia region in Anatolian Seljuks Empire period. Construction of Ağzıkara Hostelry, located between Aksaray-Nevşehir, is started between 1231-1236 dated during the period of I. Alaeddin Keykubad and it is completed during the the period of Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev in 1239. Sultan Hostelry is the biggest one of Anatolian Seljuks hostelries and appears as a castle. Kiosk-small mosque, rooms, stores, bakery, hamam and barns are located inside it. Saruhan, located on Avanos-Ürgüp highway in 6km. far away Avanos, is constructed during the period of Sultan II. Izzettin Keykavus in 1240. Avanos county, established along Kızılırmak, is known with its pots, hand woven carpets. In the provincial center of Nevşehir, Nevşehir Castle, Kaya Mosque and Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Pasha Social Complex, constructed between 1718-1726, and Nevşehir Museum,in which archaeological and ethnographic works are exhibited; and also Hacı Bektaş Social Complex, which is constructed in 13th Century and brought into current position by extending with outbuildings in 16th Century in Hacıbektaş county in 47 km. north of Nevşehir and Museum inside it and also Hacıbektaş Archeological and Ethnography Museum are the other places, which are required to be visited.

Cappadocia Tours