Nevsehir is the capital of the Cappadocia region
and is a perfect starting point for 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
National Park (Cappadocia)
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
Urgup, 20 kms east of Nevsehir, is a lively
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 photograph album.