Cappadocia, an unique destination, with stunning views, hidden cities, romantic sunrises and of course hot air balloon rides.
The earliest record of the name of Cappadocia dates from the late 6th century BC, when it appears in the trilingual inscriptions of two early kings, Darius I and Xerxes, as one of the of the Persian Empire. In these lists of countries, the Old Persian name is Haspaduya, which according to some researchers is would mean in Iranian “the land of beautiful horses”.
But the history says Cappadocia was known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age , and was the homeland of the Hittite power centred at Hattusa. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, Cappadocia was ruled by a sort of feudal aristocracy, dwelling in strong castles and keeping the peasants in a servile condition, which later made them apt to foreign slavery. It was included in the third Persian satrapy in the division established by Darius but continued to be governed by rulers of its own, none apparently supreme over the whole country and all more or less tributaries of the Great King.
Nowadays most of us know Cappadocia due to Göreme Open Air Museum Göreme is a district of the Nevşehir Province in Turkey. After the eruption of Mount Erciyes about 2.6 million years ago, ash and lava formed soft rocks in the Cappadocia Region, covering a region of about 20,000 square kilometers. The softer rock was eroded by wind and water, leaving the hard cap rock on top of pillars, forming the present-day fairy chimneys.
People of Göreme, at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, realized that these soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches, and monasteries. These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post-iconoclastic period. These frescos are a unique artistic achievement from this period.
In the 4th century, small anchorite communities began to form in the region, acting on the instruction of Saint Basil of Caesarea. They carved cells in the soft rock. When the Cappadocian Greeks were expelled from Turkey in 1923 in the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey the churches were abandoned, but at the same time they were kept hidden, as their owners were the only ones who knew how to find them
We hope you are now more curious about Cappadocia and that your are already thinking about your adventure in this amazing place.