Cappadocia Transportation

 Cappadocia Transportation                                           

    Cappadocia is easily accessible by bus from anywhere in Turkey. By train, it is slower and uncomfortable and these trains run from Istanbul and Ankara to Kayseri and Nigde. There are connecting flights of the Turkish Airlines, which connect Istanbul with Kayseri (daily) and Nevsehir (Tuzkoy airport) twice on a weekly basis.
If you are already in a hotel in Turkey, you can find many package tours that will take you to Cappadocia, show you all the attractions, accommodate you in a hotel for a few nights, and bring you back to your hotel.

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Cappadocian Fathers

 Cappadocian Fathers                                                         

   The Cappadocians are significant figures in the history of the Church Fathers, whose theology is believed by many, in both Western and Eastern Christian churches, to be superior to that of Greek philosophy. They were a 4th-century monastic family, led by St Makrina to provide a central place for her brothers to study and meditate, and also to provide a peaceful shelter for their mother. Abbess Makrina fostered the formation and development of three men who collectively became designated the Cappadocian Fathers, Basil the Great who was the older of Makrina’s brothers and eventually became a bishop, Gregory of Nyssa also became eventually a bishop of the diocese associated thereafter with his name, and Peter who was the younger of Makrina’s brothers and later became bishop of Sebaste. These scholars along with a close friend, Gregory Nazianzus, Patriarch of Constantinople set out to demonstrate that Christians could hold their own in conversations with learned Greek-speaking intellectuals and that Christian faith, while it was against many of the ideas of Plato and Aristotle (and other Greek Philosophers), was an almost scientific and distinctive movement with the healing of the soul of man and his union with God at its center- one best represented by monasticism. They made major contributions to the definition of the Trinity finalized at the First Council of Constantinople in 381 and the final version of the Nicene Creed which was formulated there.Subsequent to the First Council of Nicea, Arianism did not simply disappear. The semi-Arians taught that the Son is of like substance with the Father (homoiousios) as against the outright Arians who taught that the Son was like the Father (homoean). So the Son was held to be like the Father but not of the same essence as the Father.The Cappadocians worked to bring these semi-Arians back to the Orthodox cause. In their writings they made extensive use of the (now orthodox) formula “three subsistences (hypostases) in one essence (ousia),” and thus explicitly acknowledged a distinction between the Father and the Son (a distinction that Nicea had been accused of blurring), but at the same time insisting on their essential unity.

Thus Basil wrote:

“In a brief statement, I shall say that essence (ousia) is related to subsistence (hypostasis) as the general to the particular. Each one of us partakes of existence because he shares in ousia while because of his individual properties he is A or B. So, in the case in question, ousia refers to the general conception, like goodness, god-head, or such notions, while hypostasis is observed in the special properties of fatherhood, sonship, and sanctifying power. If then they speak of persons without hypostasis they are talking nonsense, ex hypothesi; but if they admit that the person exists in real hypostasis, as they do acknowledge, let them so number them as to preserve the principles of the homoousion in the unity of the godhead, and proclaim their reverent acknowledgment of Father, son, and Holy spirit, in the complete and perfect hypostasis of each person so named.” Ep.214.4.

Basil thus attempted to do justice to the doctrinal definitions of Nicea while at the same time distinguishing the Nicene position from modalism, which had been Arius’s original charge against Alexander in the Nicene controversy. The outcome was that Arianism and semi-Arianism virtually disappeared from the church.

Cappadocian Greek Language

 Cappadocian Greek Language                                         

   Cappadocian, also known as Cappadocian Greek or Asia Minor Greek, is a dialect of the Greek language, formerly spoken in Cappadocia (Central Turkey). After the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s, Cappadocian speakers were forced to emigrate to Greece, where they were resettled in various locations, especially in Central and Northern Greece. The Cappadocians rapidly shifted to Standard Modern Greek and their language was thought to be extinct since the 1960s. In June 2005, Mark Janse (Roosevelt Academy, Middelburg) and Dimitris Papazachariou (University of Patras) discovered Cappadocians in Central and Northern Greece who could still speak their native language fluently. Amongst them are middle-aged, third-generation speakers who take a very positive attitude towards the language as opposed to their parents and grandparents. The latter are much less inclined to speak Cappadocian and more often than not switch to Standard Modern Greek. A survey of Cappadocian speakers and language use is currently in preparation.

Cappadocia Etymology

 Cappadocia Etymology                                                      

    The earliest record of the name of Cappadocia dates from the late 6th century BC it where appears in the trilingual inscriptions of two early Achaemenid Kings, Darius I and Xerxes, as one of the countries (Old Persian dahyu-) which are part of the Persian Empire. In these lists of countries the Old Persian name is Katpatuka but it is clearly not a native Persian word. The Elamite and Akkadian language versions of the inscriptions contain a similar name.Herodotus tells us that the name of the Cappadocians (Katpatouka) was applied to them by the Persians, while they were termed by the Greeks “Syrians” or “White Syrians” (Leucosyri). One of the Cappadocian tribes he mentions are the Moschoi, associated by Flavius Josephus with the biblical figure Meshech, son of Japheth, “and the Mosocheni were founded by Mosoch; now they are Cappadocians.” AotJ I:6. Also see Ketubot 13:11 in the Mishna.Under the later kings of the Persian empire they were divided into two satrapies, or governments, the one comprising the central and inland portion, to which the name of Cappadocia continued to be applied by Greek geographers, while the other was called Pontus. This division had already come about before the time of Xenophon. As after the fall of the Persian government the two provinces continued to be separate, the distinction was perpetuated, and the name Cappadocia came to be restricted to the inland province (sometimes called Great Cappadocia), which alone will be the focus of this article.The kingdom of Cappadocia was still in existence in the time of Strabo as a nominally independent state. Cilicia was the name given to the district in which Caesarea, the capital of the whole country, was situated. The only two cities of Cappadocia considered by Strabo to deserve that appellation were Caesarea (originally known as Mazaca) and Tyana, not far from the foot of the Taurus

Cappadocians in Popular Culture

Cappadocians in Popular Culture                                 

   In The Simpsons episode “Brother from Another Series,” the character Sideshow Bob grudgingly acknowledges the Cappadocians as the only “civilization in history [that] considered hydrodynamics a calling.” This referred to the Cappadocians being famous for underground cities, although not specifically dams.[2]Wu tang Affilate Darryl Hill styles himself as “Cappadonna” in reference to this civilisation and also goes by the pseudonym “lebanon don” in reference to lebanon being a part of this civilisation

Cappadocia Modern Tourism

Cappadocia Modern Tourism                                            

   The area is a famous and popular tourist destination, as it has several cone-shaped geological formations.It is southwest of the major city Kayseri, which has airline and railroad service to Ankara and Istanbul.After the eruption of Mt. Erciyes about 2000 years ago, the volcanic deposits formed soft rocks (ignimbrites) in the Cappadocia Region. People of Goreme, at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, realized that these soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. Goreme became a monastic center between 300-1200 AD. First period settlement in Goreme reaches to the Roman period from Christianity. Yusuf Koc, Ortahane, Durmus Kadir and Bezirhane churches in Goreme, houses and churches carved into rocks till to Uzundere, Bagildere and Zemi Valley carries the mystical side of history today. The Goreme Open Air Museum is the most visited site of the monastic communities in Cappadocia and is one of the most famous sites in central Turkey. It is a complex comprising more than 30 rock-carved churches and chapels containing some superb frescoes, dating from the 9th to the 11th centuries.

Cappadocia

     cappadocia   cappadocia   cappadocia     

    Cappadocia The region known in ancient times as Cappadocia is the setting for some of nature’s most bizarre wonders.It incorporates the provinces of Aksaray, Nevsehir, Nigde, Kayseri and Kirsehir .For most people , the name Cappadocia suggests the towns and vicinities of Uchisar, Goreme, Avanos, Urgup, Derinkuyu, Kaymakli and Ihlara, in the course of millions of years, the land has been shaped into fantastic forms.”Fairy chimneys” that seem haunted, and cities and houses of worship that extend many meters deep into the earth are all enveloped an atmosphere that is ethereal and unwordly.    Get ready now to take a brief journey into the Cappadocian region, where Mother Nature painstakingly worked miracles that defy the imagination and where the living elements of history, culture, art, and society are inextricably linked.
Milions of years ago, three of the mountains in Cappadocia – Erciyes , Hasandag and Gulludag- were active volcanoes; indeed , this activity persisted intermittently at least into the Neolithic period if one considers the evidence of prehistoric paintings found on the walls of caves.

   The eruptions appear to have begun in the Upper Miocene, less than 70 million years ago, in which lava began to flow from volcanoes submerged in Neogene lakes.The plateau of tuff formed from the materials discharged by the main volcanoes was continuously altered by the eruptions smaler and less violent volcanoes.

   From the Upper Pliocene onwards, these layers of tuff were exposed to erosion by rain and the waters of lakes and rivers, particularly the Kizilirmak, resulting in what we see today.Floodwater pouring down the sides of valleys combined with strong winds tore away the softer volcanic rock exposing the harder varieties and resulting in the formations known as “fairy chimneys” of which there are several types in Cappadocia – conical, pointed, columnar, mushroom-shaped an deven a type that looks as if it’s wearing a hat!

   The cappadocian region has been inhabited since prehistoric times.The evidence of this is plentiful, but the best examples of it have been unearthed at Kosk Hoyuk in Nigde and Asikli Hoyuk in Aksaray as well as in the Civelek Cave in Nevsehir.During the Early Bronze Age, Cappadocia came under the influence of Assyrian civilization thanks to extensive trade , and it was during this period that writing was introduced .Researchers have turned up hoards of so-called ” Cappadocian tablets”- clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform writing – whose texts speak of tax regulations, interest rates , marriage contracts, trade disputes, and much else besides.The Hattis , floowed by the Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Romans, Byzanties, Seljuks, and Ottomans were all enchanted by the allure of Cappdocia and left the imprint of their own.

   Because of its location, Cappadocia was an extremely critical and strategic region. Important trade routes- including the illustrious Silk Road – traversed it both east and west and North and South.As a result of this heavy traffic , the region was a complex web of historical and cultural influences.Cappadocia was where different faiths and philosophies met and influenden one another.

   Cappadocia’s trade and resource were tempting prized and the region was frequently prizes and the region was frequently invadede, raided, and looted.To protect themselves from such depredations, the local inhabitants took to living in the region’s cavems and grottos whose entrances could be concealed so as not to be noticed by trouble-making outsiders.Since it might be necesesary to lie low for extended periods of time, these troglodytic dwellings eventually became subterranean cities that included sources of water, places of store food ,wineries, and temples.Some of the date back to before the Christian era.

   In the early years of the first millennium, groups of Christians fleeing from Roman persecution began moving into the inaccessible wilds of Cappadocia sekin refuge. One group, whisch arrived here from Jerusalem via Antioch ( Antakya ) and Caesarea ( Kayseri) in the second century, settled down in the area now called Derinkuyu.Finding the soft volcanic tuff easy to carve, they began expanding the natural caves, linking them together and in addition to dwellings, creating chapels, churches, and whole monasteries as they shaped with their hearts, minds, and hands the peace and security that they so desperately sought.
There are said to be more than a thousand churches and chapels in Cappadocia.The variety and artistry of their architecture, layout, and decoration are fascinating and amazing.The whole panoply of religious architecture- basilicas with single, double, or triple naves, cruciform plans, vestibules, aisles, apses, domes, colums, pillars, in these churches, and all of it has been hollwed out of the stona.Many of the churches are decorated withpainstakingly executed frescoes.The monumental task of restoring, repairing, and maintaining these churches and underground cities goes on continuously even while they receive thousands of visitors a year.

   There is of course more to the history of the Cappadocian regin than that of the pagan and Christian world.With the arrival of Islam in Anatolia, it also became the home of a number of famous Muslim scholars and philosophers.In th 14th centurt, the Turkish and Muslim mystic, Haci Bektas-i Veli settled down in the Nevsehir county called Hacibektas today.The core tenets of this sage’s philosophy, which was crucial to achieving unity among the differen Turkish groups in Anatolis, embody the spirit and substance of the 1948 Universal Dedaration of Human Rights.

   Yunus Emre, another important mystic and poet lived in Aksaray for a while.This poet’s love-filled heart has influenced and inspired people around the world.UNESCO declared 1991 to be the ” International Yunus Emre Year” in commemoration of the 750th anniversary of his birth.

   Akhism, the organized brother hood of trade and craft guilds founded by Ahi Evran first developed in Kirsehir and spread out from there, sowing the seeds of love in the hearts of people everywhere in Anatolis.

   In the province of Nigde, frescoed churches and dwellings carved into the cliffs extend from Ihlara valley, whisch is 40 km from Aksaray, as far as the town of Selime.Some of these structures can be dated back to as early as the 4th century AD. Among the many sights worth seeing are the Egritas, Agac Alti, Kokar, Yilanli, Purenli, and Sivisli churches.

   How about stopping by one of the ” wine houses of Urgup” that are waitng to transform the sweet weariness of our trip into languorous relaxation?

   Whether your wine is served to you in a rustic earthenware pitcher or an elegant crytall goblet, it will be an experience that youu’ll never forget.

   We knew you couldn’t resist the taste of the crimson-red or misty-white wines dripping into your cup from the fertile vineyards in which the exquisite grapes of the Cappadocia region flourish.Although some local vintners have adopted modern techniques of wine-making there are stil many that remain faithful to the ancient and time-proven methods.

   Now, let’s resolve the mystery of those clouds of white fluttering about us.They’re doves! Doves beautifully and exuberantly winging their way in the valleys around Uçhisar, in the valleys of Goreme-Kiliclar and Gulludere, in Urgup’s Uzengi valley, in the Ortahisar Balkan Deresi and Kizilcukur valleys, in the Cat valley near NevSehir, and Soganli valley in Kayseri province!According to Muslim belief, the dove is a symbol of family devotion and peace;in Christianity it’s a symbol of the spirit of God.In the heights of nearly all the valleys in the region, you will see dovecotes built into the eastern or southern slopes.These dovecotes are dated back to the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries and provide excellent examples of the art of Islamic painting.

   If your camera’s ready, some outstanding images are waiting to be your models.The splendid scene of the town of Uchisar seven kilometers from Nevsehir, has an appeal that is irresistible.From the heights of the Uchisar citadel, you have a magnificent and unrivalled view of the whole region.

   We arrive at the “belif centers”, where the air is thick with an enigmatic nimbus.Goreme and its environs, located ten kilometers forum Nevsehir, are thought to have been used as a necropolis during Roman times by the inhabitants of Venessa( Avanos.)The churches of Durmus Kadir, Yusuf Koc, El Nazar, Sakli, Meryem Ana, and Kiliclar cast a spellbinding effect upon visitors.The Goreme Open-Air Museum is where the “educational system that unified all the ideas of Christianity” of St Basil the Great and his brothers, was born.In the Tokali church, the Convent of Monks and Nuns, the Chapel of St Basil, and the Elmali, Yilanli, Karanlik, and Carikli churches the architectural details and frescoes seem as alive today as when they were new.

   Cavusin, located two kilometers froum Goreme, is one of the oldes inhabited places in the region. The fresco scenes in the Cavusin church are distinctive because of their unusual compositions. Kilise, Pasabaglari and the Cell of St Simeon are amon the mos impressive sites at Zelve.

   In Avanos, located 18 kilometers from Nevsehir, there is a tradition of pottery-making that has been alive since Hittite times.We’ve already reached the pottery-making center, crowded with people at work or watching.If you want to give it a try, call at a workshop, don an apron, and take up your position before a Wheel.What happens next will depend your imagination.Master potters standing nearby and smiling will lend you their moral support and maybe give you a few pointers.
When you leave, don’t forget to pick up an example or two of the craftsmen’s skill as witnesses to your pleasurable moments along with the piece you made yourself.

   In Urgup, 20 kilometers east of Nevsehir, the St Theodora ( Tagar ) and Pancarlik churches are elaboraterly decorated with religious art.
In the town of Ortahisar, six kilometers from Urgup, the most impressive sight is the once strategically important Ortahisar citadel.Fine examples of Cappadocia’s vernacular architecture cluster thickly around the base of the citadel.Also worth seeing is the Uzumlu church, on the western side.Six kilometers South of Urgup is Mustafapasa ( Sinasos ) a town justifiably famous for its splendid stone Works.The Chapel of St Basil is decorated with motifs reflecting the Iconoclastic system of thought.

   The town of Tatlarin is located ten kilometers North of Acigol.The Tatlarin church is graced with well-preserved frescoes.
Twenty kilometers from Nevsehir are the Aciksaray ruins and the Church of St John in the town Gulsehir.The town of Hacibektas, 45 kilometers from Nevsehir, has a fine museum that includes the tomb of the famous philosopher and mystic Haci Bektas-i Veli. On 16-18 August every year, activities commemorating Haci Bektas-i Veli are held and draw large crowds of his disciples as well as visitors.

   The Karabas, Kubbeli, and St. Barbara ( Tahtali Kilise ) churches located in Soganli Valley in Kayseri province’s Yesilhisar county are particularly important because of their architectural styles and their detailed fresco scenes.

   The Eski Gümüs church, located in the town of Gümüsler, eight kilometers northeast of Nigde, is a cliff-monastery church and is decorated with fresco scenes that are extremely detailed and telicately executed.In addition to this, the underground cities of Kavlaktepe, Fertek, Konakli, Baglama, Kayirli and the Yesilyurt and Akdas Andabalis churches are sites worth visiting that are of great importance of Christians.Ancient city of Tyana ( Roman Period ) is worth seeing.Built into the Ucayaki Derefakili, Aflak, and Aksakli caves in Kirsehir province, are historic places of worship that are important for Christianity.

   Mention has already been made of the Cappadocia region’s “underground cities” place that are as amazing as they are fascinating.There are many of them but the most extraordinary are the ones at Kaymakli, Derinkuyu, Mazi, Ozkonak, and Tatlarin.In Kirsehir province, the underground cities of Mucur, Dulkadirli, Inlimurat, and Kumbetalti are also quite impressive in their extent and layout. These were all used as shelters for great lengths of time and, having undergone restoration work, they are now open to visitors.

   The Cappadocia region has been designated a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Visitors to it have an opportunity to view distinguished examples of Seljuk, and Otoman art and architecture as well.Some of the most outstanding examples of these are the Grand Mosque, Egri Minaret, and the Alayhan and Sultanhank caravanserais – examples of seljuk period Works in Aksaray province; the Sarihan Caravanserai ( Seljuk ) and the Urgup Taskinpasa Mosque ( Karamanli period ) in Nevsehir province; and the Sungur Bey and Alaadin mosques, two Seljuk works in Nigde. In Kayseri province, some of the places worth visiting are Doner Kumbet (Tomb), Sircali Kumbet, Ali Cafer Kumbet, Cami Kebir, the Hunat Hatun Kulliyesi (Complex), the Kursunlu Cami (Mosque), Gupgupoglu konagi (Mansion) , the Kara Mustafa Pasa Caravanserai, and Karatayhani Caravanserai. While in Kayseri, be sure to make a stop at the Museum of the History of Medicine, located in what used to be the Þifaiye Medrese.This was the first medical school and hospital in Anatolia, and was built at the behest of Gevher Nesibe, a sister of the Seljuk Sultan Giyaseddin Keyhusrev I, in 1205.Magnificent works of historical and artistic importance in Kirsehir province include the Cacabey Mosque, the Ahi Evran Mosque, the Asikpasa Tomb, the Melikgazi Tomb, the Yunus Emre Tomb, and Kesikkopru.

   Cappadocia generously spreads before visitors an extraordinary and lavish banquet of natural wonders exceeding their wildest imagination and elegantly graced with works by the hand of man. Discovering these marvels from a hot-air balloon in voyage unique to the Cappadocian region is an experience unlike any other as you race with the doves through the sky’s shades of blue and behold below the sinuous terrain extending into infinity, the enigmatic and artistically magnificent churches, and the pyramids, cones, mushrooms, and hats of the fairy chimneys.The shops and markets in which the local handicrafts are displayed and offered for sale reveal a palette of colors, patterns, and designs that is unlimited in its variety.The locally-quarried onyx is carved into countless shapes before coming to its potential buyers.The local rag dolls, sweetly reflecting all the warmth and charm of the region are dressed in delightfully colored and patterned fabrics and are certain to appeal to collectors.Pottery-making, porcelain, manufacturing, leather-working, handicrafts, and the making of delectable wines are well-developed activities in the region of Cappadocia, nature’s “art gallery”, whose natural, historical, and cultural assets entice visitors with their miracles and spells. Cappadocia wishes to be a symbol of the unforgettable with places and memories imbued with the peace promised by the doves wheeling through the heavens.And those who behold these things become parners in that wish. Our own wish and hope is that you too will have the chance to visit and experience these indescribable feelings for yourself.