Goreme Open Air museum is part of a unique landscape that consists of mountain ridges, valleys and fairy chimneys. The topography is made up of a kind of soft rock called ‘tufa’, which can be easily broken through and carved out to make dwellings. Goreme Air Museum itself is a huge complex of rock-cut monasteries that were operative between the 9th and 12th centuries. The churches and monasteries are decorated with frescoes that represent rare Byzantine art of the post-iconoclastic period. Despite having been created more than a thousand years ago, the colors of the frescoes have retained their original freshness. The density of the rock-cut cells and the extent and sophistication of the underground complexes make it the world’s largest and most striking example of organized cave habitation.
Zelve Open-Air Museum, which once housed one of the largest communities in the region is an amazing cave town, honeycombed with dwellings, religious and secular chambers. Zelve is situated about 10 km out from Goreme on the Avanos road. Here, the Christians and Muslims lived together in perfect harmony, until 1924.You can start your excursion by visiting the first valley on the right taking the stamps in the second valley, then turning right. While walking along the path, you will see on the right some paintings on the surface of the rock. These frescoes are what remain from the now totally collapsed Geyikli Kilise (the Church with the Deer)and afford examples of the oldest paintings displaying the principal religious symbols of Christianity, like the Cross, the deer and the fish. On entering the first valley you will see a rock-cut mosque on the left, with a lovely minaret. You will then notice a monastery complex on the right resembling an upside down bowl cut of the rock. Immediately opposite, there is a rock-cut complex accessible by a metal ladder and connected to the second valley by a long, cave tunnel.
Pasabaglari - a number of very nicely shaped tuff cones standing right next to the road. This site is also called Monks Valley. The monks were retreating themself in these hidden cave areas. A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon and a anchorite`s shelter is built into one of the fairy chimneys.
Derinkuyu Underground City is likely first established around the 7th or 8th century BCE, the massive subterranean complex was built by the ancient population of the time to provide protection against invading forces. And what a defense it became. Continually growing since its inception, and significantly expanded during the Byzantine period centuries later, the hidden “city” is thought to have been able to protect 20,000 inhabitants for long periods of time thanks to a number of surprisingly advanced, if crudely implemented innovations. The city descends 18 stories underground, deeper than any of the other underground complexes found in the area, and is fitted with thousands of ventilation shafts and water ways that provided fresh air and water to each level of the site. There were rooms for stables, churches, lodging, storage, and of course a winery, lest the citizens become bored during a siege. The city was protected by doors made of massive stone wheels that could be rolled in from of an entrance, essentially making it another wall.
Today, over 600 entrances to the Derinkuyu Underground City have been found in courtyards and private residences around the city giving the impression that there may have been some holes in this impressive defense, but hundreds of entries or not, it is doubtful that many enemies could make it past two-foot stone doors.
Cappadocia is a region of exceptional natural wonders, none more so than the giant monuments left by Mother Nature in Love Valley. Situated in the very heart of modern day Turkey this natural wonder sits on a high plateau over a thousand meters in altitude. Rainfall is sparse in this area and the place has hot dry summers and bitterly cold snowy winters. There is little rainfall and so the region is generally arid. In this environment these huge phallic natural structures seems like some sort of ancient homage to male fertility. These are the greatest sample for tallest and most beautiful chimneys in Cappadocia.
Uchisar has a great location between Nevsehir City and Goreme that it allows guests to visit the sightseeing points and panaromic areas. The city was belong to Romans and Persians in history that there is a great castle, which is the highest one in Cappadocia allows people to watch all valleys.
Uchisar Castle is the highest area of Cappadocia that although there are a lot of steps to climb it totally worths to see the spectacular and fantastic view surroanding Cappadocia's town and villages. There are some tombs in and top of the castle that it is estimated belongs to Roman Soldiers who were trying to protect the town agains to Persians.
n Cappadocia, Turkey, there are around 35 underground cities. The deep valleys, the splendid rock formations, and the ancient subterranean hideouts were carved by volcanic ash rock millions of years ago.
The volcanic rock proved to be ideal building material for the underground cities in this area which are the main attraction of Central Anatolia. The deepest underground city is Derinkuyu, while the widest one is the underground city of Kaymakli.
Kaymakli is one of the most visited underground cities in Cappadocia. It is located right beneath the Kaymakli Castle. The ancient name of the city was Enegup. This underground city had eight floors, but only four of them are open for visitors. Kaymakli was once home to more than 3,000 people.
People built their homes around the tunnels of the city in order to protect themselves from invading Arabs and Roman soldiers. The tunnels go as deep as 40 meters. The tunnel network is designed as a puzzle. The tunnels are steeply inclined, narrow, and low. The city was connected with Derinkuyu underground city through a nine-kilometer tunnel and served as a good hiding place.
The Ihlara valley, 25 km south-east of Aksaray, is a canyon 14 km long and 100 m -120 m deep,possessing a wild natural beauty. In the past it was called Peristremma Valley. İt became famous more as a religous centre then a settlement. The oldest information about this valley has been obtained through a letter dated 374 AD written by Bishop Gregorius of Nazian. The geological formations in the Ihlara Valley make the area suitable as a place of refuge, and it therefore become an ideal place of seclusion and worship for monks and prests. All the settlements of the valley are small villages. These are the Belisirma , Ihlara, Selime and Yaprakhisar villages. An inscription found on a fresco within the Kirkdamalti Church in Belisirma, writes that settlements within the valley continued to exist until the end of the 13th century. The churches and monasteries of this valley have been carved into soft tufa rocks. The only exception is the Karagedik Chruch, which was built with hewn stones.