Cappadocia (Kapadokya)

balloons flying over Cappadocia (Kapadokya üzerinde uçan balonlar)


Cappadocia region consists of Nevsehir (in particular), Aksaray, Kirsehir, Nigde, and Kayseri. It is located in middle Anatolia.

Cappadocia region emerged as a result of the erosion of the soft layers of lava and ash spout from mountains (Erciyes, Hasan and Gullu) by rain and wind 60 million years ago.

Human settlement dates back to the Paleolithic period. The land has been one of the most important centers of Christianity. Houses and churches carved into the rock have become a giant refuge for Christians fleeing from the oppression of the Roman Empire.

People built houses, churches within these "fairy chimneys" also called hoodoos. decorated them with frescos that carries the traces of thousands of years of civilization. Throughout history, Cappadocia harboured commercial colonies and was an important junction for the Silk Road.

In the 12th century BC, Hittite Empire started to lose its power. During this period, Cappadocia was ruled by Hittite kings influenced by Assyrian and Phrygian kings. Persia invaded Cappadocia in the 6th century BC. Cappadocia means "Land of Beautiful Horses" in Persian. In 332 BC, Alexander the Great defeated the Persians, but encountered great resistance in Cappadocia. The Kingdom of Cappadocia was established in this period. The power of the Romans begins to be felt in the area towards the end of the 3rd century BC. In the mid-1st century BC the kings of Cappadocia are appointed/deposed by the Roman generals. Cappadocia became a province of Rome in 17 AD.

In 3rd century AD, Christians came to Cappadocia. The region became a center of education and ideas for them. The pressure on Christians began to raise in the years 303-308. Cappadocia was an ideal place for spreading the Christian teachings due to its deep valleys and shelters carved into soft volcanic rocks creating a safe haven against Roman soldiers.

In the 7th century, Arab invasions aiming Christians in Anatolia began and many Christians took shelter in Cappadocia and changed the styles of the churches. Cappadocia is a part of Turkish land to this day since Seljuk Turks seized Cappadocia in 11th century.

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