The Ancient city of Cappadocia

 

Points covered: 

 

 

  • History of Cappadocia 
  • Weather and Climate
  • Culture and Tradition
  • Attractions of Cappadocia 
  • Travel Tips 

 

Cappadocia is a historical region that is located in the Nevsehir, kirsehir, Aksaray and Nigde provinces in Turkey. The ancient city has been in existence since ancient times, as proved by the various references made to the city in biblical passages and also in the various lingual inscriptions of the two Achaemenid kings, Darius I and Xerxes whom included the city into the already existing cities of the old Persian empires. The city is characterized by fairy chimneys, mountains and also a unique historical and cultural heritage. It is also home to a lot of historical locations that have been declared as a World Heritage center by UNESCO. These places include The Kaymakli Underground City, The Derinkuyu Underground City and many more.

 

 

History of Cappadocia 


Cappadocia was initially called Hatti during the Bronze Age. It was the homeland of the Hittite empire that settled around Hattusa. Later, after the Hittite empire had been destroyed by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, only a small Cappadocian fraction of the country was left intact and this fraction was ruled by a sort of feudal aristocracy that exploited the people and led them into a servile condition. The poor living conditions of the people made the move to foreign land even though they knew they were going to be enslaved. The remaining part of the fallen Hittite empire was allowed to have rulers of their own, but these rulers only served as governors and had to answer to the supreme ruler of the Persian empire. 

 

Later, Alexander the Great defeated the Persian empire and then divided the territories to his generals who ruled these lands and answered to him. Cappadocia which was part of the Persian empire at that time was given to Ariarathes who ruled over the region and turned out to be a very successful king. Ariarathes expanded the borders of Cappadocia to as far as the Black sea and also brought relative peace and development to the land. This continued until the death of Alexandra, which led to the division of the whole empire Alexandra had built. After the division, Cappadocia fell into the hands of Eumenes who ruled for a very brief time before he was replaced by Ariarathes II who was the adopted son of Ariarathes I.

 

 

The city was also ruled by Romans during the Byzantine Empire. During that time, it became a major Christian community with a lot of churches and Christian religious structures and designs. This continued until the Byzantine Empire was conquered by the Seljuks sultans. The defeat of the Byzantine Empire led to a major turning point in the history of Cappadocia as Seljuks began to settle in the region. Cappadocia slowly became a tributary to the Turkish states that was established in the east and the west, and gradually, the city became converted to an Islamic state. By the end of the 12th century, Anatolian Seljuks had already established their full dominance through the region.

 

Later, around the 15th century, the Seljuk empire also fell and was replaced by the Ottoman empire of which Cappadocia was now part. The ottoman rules for centuries and is now part of modern Turkey. The Turks influenced the Cappadocian's way of life and even their language and by 1923, the original language of Cappadocia was only spoken by very few people. 

 

 The Ancient city of Cappadocia

 

 

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Weather and Climate 


The region of Cappadocia has a relatively continental climate. The climate of the region is very hot and dry during summer, and during winter, it shifts to a cold and snowy climate. Rainfall is sparse ad the region is a relatively semi-arid region.


 

 The Ancient city of Cappadocia

 

Culture and Tradition


Cappadocia is a place that is rich in local culture and wonderful tradition. Its cultures can be seen in the food, dance, music, and festivals in the region.  Cappadocia is famous for its different unique dance, music, local food, festival and dance. These cultural traditional activities can be observed in almost all part of the city. Some of the traditional meals, music, dance, and festivals are listed below. 


local meals 


Gozleme
Pottery Kebab
Turkish Ravioli
Aside 
Koftur 


local festivals 


Kaymaki Cream Festival
Aksalur Cherry Festival
Urgup Grape Harvest Festival 
Cappadocia Annual International Mountain Bike and stage race festival.


local music 


Music in Cappadocia evolved from the original folk form into classical through the emergence of a palace culture. It reached the tip of its hype in the 16th century through the composer “Itri”. Some of the giants of Turkish classical music include “Dede Efendi” “Haci Arif Bey” and “tamburi Cemil Bey” among others. 

 

 The Ancient city of Cappadocia

 

Attractions of Cappadocia 


Cappadocia, being a very old city is blessed with a lot of historic, geological and cultural features and structures that tourists can visit. The most popular towns and destinations in Cappadocia include Nevsehir, Kayseri, Aksaray, and Nigde. These cities have a lot of tourist locations that people from all over the world come to visit. Here is an example of some other extremely interesting locations
 

 

Goreme Open Air Museum


Located outside the Goreme village, the Museum is a UNESCO protected site, it is a monastery cluster of rock-cut Churches and Monk-cells that hold fabulous frescoes. It dates back from the 10th to the 12th centuries.
 

 

 The Ancient city of Cappadocia

 

Kaymakli Underground City 


This underground city had been in existence since the bronze ages during the Hittite era. Heading underground into a network of tunnels is a fascinating experience that you should not miss.

 

 The Ancient city of Cappadocia

 

Cavusin 


The main attractions in the small but beautiful village of Cavusin are the two old lovely churches that are located in the premises. Tourists travel to this area to pray and appreciate the wonderful artistic designs of the churches. 


There are other interesting places and things to do in this wonderful city and one of them is Hot Air Ballooning which is a very common activity in the city. Hundreds of balloons take to the skies after sunrise and give the tourist a perfect view of the beautiful places in the city. Other places tourist visit in the Cappadocia includes Zelve Open Air Museum, Pasabag, Uchisar, Avanos and many more.

 

 The Ancient city of Cappadocia

 

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Travel Tips 


As you travel to Cappadocia, ensure you comply absolutely with the rules and guidelines you are given by your travel instructors, do not be careless with important artifacts you might encounter on your journey and make sure you respect the locals you meet. 


Also, to avoid complications, travel with a travel agency as this will guarantee you safety and also protect you from people that might want to take advantage of you still not knowing the ropes around town.

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