Cappadocia , Turkey is the historic area of central Anatolia bounded by the towns of Hacıbektas, Aksaray, Nigde and Kayseri. It was known as Cappadocia in ancient times, and is still called Kapadokya informally today.Cappadocia is Turkey’s most visually striking region, especially the “moonscape” area around the towns of Ürgüp, Göreme, Uçhisar, Avanos and Mustafapaşa (Sinasos), where erosion has formed caves, clefts, pinnacles, “fairy chimneys” and sensuous folds in the soft volcanic rock.
Although the volcanic landscape can appear inhospitable, the mineral-rich soil is excellent for growing vegetables and fruits, making Cappadocia a rich agricultural region. It has always been one of Anatolia’s prime grape-growing areas, and still boasts many productive vineyards and wineries.
The Bible’s New Testament tells of Cappadocia, but in fact this part of central Anatolia has been important since Hittite times, long before the time of Jesus.
Prime activities here are visiting the historic painted cave churches of the many monastic valleys (especially the Göreme Valley and Zelve Valley), flying in a hot-air balloon at dawn above the incredible landscape, hiking the volcanic valleys (especially the Rose Valley [Güllüdere]), and spending the night in a comfortable cave hotel room with all the modern comforts.
For an excellent full-day excursion, drive to the surprising underground cities at Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı and the formerly Ottoman-Greek mountain town of Güzelyurt before taking a hike of several hours in the Ihlara Valley.
You may also want to spend a half-day hiking the less-visited Soğanlı Valleys of southern Cappadocia, south of Mustafapaşa.
Cappadocia was known as Hatti in the late Bronze Age, and was the country of the Hittite force focused at Hattusa. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, with the decrease of the Syro-Cappadocians after their thrashing by the Lydian lord Croesus in the sixth century, Cappadocia was ruled by a kind of medieval gentry, abiding in solid palaces and keeping the laborers in a servile condition, which later made them well-suited to outside servitude. It was incorporated into the third Persian satrapy in the division set up by Darius however kept on being administered by leaders of its own, none evidently incomparable over the entire nation and all pretty much tributaries of the Great King.
Kingdom of Cappadocia
In the wake of closure the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great attempted to administer the zone through one of his military officers. In any case, Ariarathes, a Persian noble, some way or another got to be ruler of the Cappadocians. As Ariarathes I (332–322 BC), he was a fruitful ruler, and he developed the fringes of the Cappadocian Kingdom to the extent to the Black Sea. The kingdom of Cappadocia lived in peace until the demise of Alexander. The past domain was then partitioned into numerous parts, and Cappadocia tumbled to Eumenes. His cases were made great in 322 BC by the official Perdiccas, who executed Ariarathes; however in the disagreements which realized Eumenes’ demise, Ariarathes II, the received child of Ariarathes I, recouped his legacy and left it to a line of successors, who generally bore the name of the author of the administration.
Persian homesteaders in the Cappadocian kingdom, cut off from their co-religionists in Iran legitimate, kept on honing Zoroastrianism. Strabo, watching them in the main century B.C., records (XV.3.15) that these “flame kindlers” had numerous “blessed spots of the Persian Gods”, and additionally fire temples. Strabo besides relates, were “imperative fenced in areas; and in their middle there is a sacred place, on which there is a huge amount of fiery debris and where the magi keep the flame ever burning.”
Under Ariarathes IV, Cappadocia came into relations with Rome, first as an adversary embracing the reason for Antiochus the Great, then as an associate against Perseus of Macedon. The lords henceforward put their support behind the Republic as against the Seleucids, to whom they had been occasionally tributary. Ariarathes V walked with the Roman proconsul Publius Licinius Crassus Dives Mucianus against Aristonicus, a petitioner to the throne of Pergamon, and their strengths were demolished (130 BC). The imbroglio which took after his passing at last prompted impedance by the rising force of Pontus and the interests and wars which finished in the disappointment of the dynasty.
Roman and Byzantine province
Principle article: Cappadocia (Roman region)
The Cappadocians, upheld by Rome against Mithridates VI of Pontus, chose a local ruler, Ariobarzanes, to succeed (93 BC); yet around the same time Armenian troops under Tigranes the Great entered Cappadocia, deposed lord Ariobarzanes and delegated Gordios as the new customer lord of Cappadocia, consequently making a cradle zone against the infringing Romans. It was not until Rome had removed the Pontic and Armenian rulers that the guideline of Ariobarzanes was set up (63 BC). In the common wars Cappadocia was first for Pompey, then for Caesar, then for Antony, lastly, Octavian. The Ariobarzanes tradition arrived at an end, a Cappadocian aristocrat Archelaus was given the throne, by support first of Antony and after that of Octavian, and kept up tributary freedom until AD 17, when the sovereign Tiberius, who he had infuriated, summoned him to Rome and diminished Cappadocia to a Roman region.
Cappadocia contains a few underground urban communities (see Kaymaklı Underground City), to a great extent utilized by early Christians as concealing spots before Christianity turned into an acknowledged religion. The underground urban communities have boundless resistance systems of traps all through their numerous levels. These traps are exceptionally innovative, including such gadgets as vast round stones to piece entryways and openings in the roof through which the safeguards may drop lances.
The Cappadocian Fathers of the fourth century were indispensable to quite a bit of early Christian reasoning. It additionally delivered, among other individuals, another Patriarch of Constantinople, John of Cappadocia, who held office 517–520. For the majority of the Byzantine time it remained moderately undisturbed by the contentions in the zone with the Sassanid Empire, however was a basic boondocks zone later against the Muslim successes. From the seventh century, Cappadocia was isolated between the Anatolic and Armeniac subjects. In the 9th–11th hundreds of years, the district contained the subjects of Charsianon and Cappadocia.
Cappadocia imparted a continually changing relationship to neighboring Armenia, at that point a locale of the Empire. The Arab antiquarian Abu Al Faraj declares the accompanying about Armenian pilgrims in Sivas, amid the tenth century: “Sivas, in Cappadocia, was ruled by the Armenians and their numbers turned out to be many to the point that they got to be basic individuals from the majestic armed forces. These Armenians were utilized as watch-posts as a part of solid strongholds, taken from the Arabs. They separated themselves as experienced infantry troopers in the royal armed force and were always battling with extraordinary fearlessness and accomplishment by the side of the Romans at the end of the day Byzantine”. As an aftereffect of the Byzantine military crusades and the Seljuk attack of Armenia, the Armenians spread into Cappadocia and eastbound from Cilicia into the bumpy territories of northern Syria and Mesopotamia, and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia was in the end shaped. This migration was expanded further after the decay of the neighborhood magnificent force and the foundation of the Crusader States taking after the Fourth Crusade. To the crusaders, Cappadocia was “terra Hermeniorum,” the place that is known for the Armenians, because of the extensive number of Armenians settled there.
Another great excursion is to the Byzantine Iconoclastic rock-hewn monastery at Eski Gümüşler near Niğde.