Friday, December 31, 2010

Cappadocia, Turkey II

Although I already wrote about it here, here's a few more quick interesting facts about Cappadocia:

- The crazy landscape might look familiar. The Sand People scene in the first Star Wars movie was filmed here.

- Early Christians, possibly including Saint Paul, fled here in the 2nd century AD before Christianity was accepted. They fled Roman and later Muslim persecution by hiding in the caves, twisted valleys, peaks, and underground cities of the region.

- 200 years later, monasticism began here. Saint Basil encouraged hermit communities to form. They abandoned their homes and led chaste, reflective lives here in poverty. 

- Cappadocia is mentioned twice in the Bible [Acts 2:6-111 Peter 1:1-2]. Cappadocians were among those present on the first day of Pentecost.

- Estimated number of cave churches: 1000

- Number of underground cities: 40 (maybe more.. still being discovered)

- Most famous tourists: Alexander the Great and Marco Polo

-The wild rock formations were created by volcanic eruptions and then smoothed by wind and rain.

-Many of the rock towers have caps and are called fairy chimneys or mushrooms. Some locals believe angels put them there.

-Cappadocia is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

- Julia

P.S. Still a few more posts from Cappadocia... the Open Air Museum (which houses many early cave churches), a Turkish dance night, and our nature walk through Rose Valley. This is one of those magical  places where you simply can't put the camera down.

Eating a traditional pottery kebab.
Surprised to find that rug weaving by hand still exists!
One of the nicest hotels in the area: Anatolian Houses