Cappadocia, Turkey is the internal name for the region middle of Anatolia. It is a large region covering the provinces of Nevsehir, Kirsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri.
This Cappadocia region was formed by the soft lava and ash layers that formed wind and rain for millions of years from Mount Erciyes (Argeus), Hasan Mountain and Güllü Mountain 60 million years ago.
Human settlement in the Cappadocia region dates back to the Paleolithic period. These lands, where the Hittites lived, became one of the most important centers of Christianity in the later periods. Houses and churches carved into caves and rocks have been a safe haven for Christians fleeing the Roman Empire.
Cappadocia region is a place where naturalness and history unite. While geographical events created fairy chimneys - people built houses and churches inside these chimneys. Later in this historical process, they decorated them with frescoes by bringing traces of civilizations for thousands of years.
The written history of Cappadocia, where the human settlement dates back to the Paleolithic period, begins with the Hittites. Cappadocia, which has hosted trade colonies throughout history and built commercial and social bridges between countries, was one of the most important crossroads of the Silk Road.
With the collapse of the Hittite Empire in the 12th century BC, a dark period began in the region. During this period, late Hittite Kings ruled the region with the influence of Phrygia and Assyria. These kingdoms continued until the Persian invasion in the 6th century BC. The word used today means "Land of Beautiful Horses" in Cappadocia, Persian. In 332 BC Alexander the Great defeated the Persians. In this period, the Kingdom of Cappadocia was established. Roman power began to be felt in the region towards the end of the 3rd century BC. In the middle of the 1st century, the Cappadocian Kings were appointed by the Roman Generals. When the last king of Cappadocia died in 17 AD, the region became the province of Roman Empire.
In the 3rd century, Christians came to Cappadocia, which became a training center. The pressure on Christians increased between 303-308. However, Cappadocia was an ideal place to be protected from oppression and spread the Christian doctrine. Deep valleys and shelters opening to soft volcanic rocks created a safe haven against Roman soldiers.
The 4th century is the era of people known as "Fathers of Cappadocia". However, the importance of the region peaked when the Roman Emperor Leon III banned the symbols. Under these conditions, some pro-icon people began to take refuge in the area. The iconoclasm movement lasted more than a hundred years (726-843). Although some Cappadocian churches were under the influence of Iconoclasm during this period, pro-icon people easily continued to worship here. In this period, Cappadocia monasteries have developed significantly.
During this period, Arab raids began to affect Christian regions in Anatolia from Armenia to Cappadocia. People who fled from the occupation and came to the region changed the style of the churches in the region. Cappadocia was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the 11th and 12th centuries. The region then went through a smooth period during the Ottoman Empire. The last Christians in the region migrated from Cappadocia due to the Treaty of 1924-26.
Today, the Cappadocia region is a famous tourist area with its fairy chimneys and balloons. Every year, millions of people from all over the world come here to travel and fly with balloons. It is included in the world heritage list by Unesco.
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