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Cappadocia - Turkey


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Cappadocia

The area is a famous and popular tourist destination, as it has many areas with unique geological, historic and cultural features.
The region is located southwest of the major city Kayseri, which has airline and railroad (railway) service to Ankara and Istanbul.
The Cappadocia region is largely underlain by sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams, and ignimbrite deposits erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately 9 to 3 million years ago, during the late Mioceneto Pliocene epochs. The rocks of Cappadocia near Goreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks that the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out to form houses, churches and monasteries. Goreme became a monastic center between 300—1200 AD.
The first period of settlement in Goreme goes back to the Roman period. The Yusuf Koç, Ortahane, Durmus Kadir and Bezirhane churches in Goreme, houses and churches carved into rocks in the Uzundere, Bagıldere and Zemi Valleys are all carriers of history that we can see today. The Goreme Open Air Museum is the most visited site of the monastic communities in Cappadocia (see Churches of Goreme, Turkey) and is one of the most famous sites in central Turkey. The complex contains more than 30 rock-carved churches and chapels, some of them have superb frescoes inside, dating from the 9th to the 11th centuries.



Cappadocia which is unique in the world and is a miraculous nature wonder is the common name of the field covered by the provinces of Aksaray, Nevsehir, Nigde, Kayseri and Kirsehir in the Central Anatolian region.

In the upper Myosen period in the Cappadocia region as a result of the vulcanic eruptions occurred in Erciyes, Hasandag and Gulludag, in the region was formed a large tableland from the vulcanic tufas and together with the erosion of the Kizilirmak river and wind over ten thausands of years there appeared the chimney rocks which are a wonder of the nature. In the old Bronze Age the Cappadocia which was the population zone of the Assyrian civilization later has hosted the Hittite, Frig, Pers, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations. The first Christians escaped from the persecution of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century B.C. came to the Cappadocia over the Antakya and Kayseri and they have settled here. The first Christians finding the underground cities from Cappadocia have been hidden in these underground cities which gates were made in such way in which they couldn't be easily observed and they have escaped from the persecution of the Roman soldiers. Due that they had live in the underground cities for long duration without being able to go out they have developed these underground cities by making provisions rooms, ventilation chimneys, wine production places, churches, abbeys, water wells, toilets and meeting rooms.

In the prehistoric periods the first human settlements have begun and the humans have constructed the underground cities in the volcanic rocks in form of tufa due to protect themselves from the wild animals and they lived for long times in these underground cities. There are so many underground cities on the Cappadocia area of Turkey but the biggest is Derinkuyu Underground City.



In these cities made in form of rooms connected to each others some of the rooms were connected to each other only with the tunnels tight and permitting passing of just a person. At the access gates of these tunnels there were huge stone rollers used for closing the tunnels for security reasons.

The first populations of the region of Cappadocia were Hatties, Luvies and Hittites. In the 3000-2000 years B.C. the Assyrians have established trade colonies in this region. The Cappaddocian tables with cuneiform in Assyrian language founded at Kanes which are lighting the social and politic life of the period and were in the same time the trade and economical agreements are the firs written tablets of Anatolia. According to these documents in that period in Anatolia were founded small local kingdoms non-depending from a central authority. These had in generally in their hands a little area and were living in peace. The region creating the core of the Hittite Empire later has go under the domination of Phrigia and Pers. The Pers civilization has called this region Katpatuka and its center was Mazaka. When Datames the Satrab (Starab: little district administrator at Pers) of Cappadocia has bear arms against the biggest king of Pers, the other Anatolian Satrabs have been supported him but the revolt has been raided. In 33 b.c. the Big Alexander has captured a big part of Cappadocia. In 188 B.C. The Cappadocia which entered under the Roman domination has been captured in 100 B.C. by the Mithridatesd the king of Pontus but in 63 B.C. Pompeius has defeated Mithridates and took again the Cappadocia under the domination of Rome. In the period of Tiberius the Cappadocia gainded the status of Roman district.

Cappadocia was one of the most important places in the spreading periods of the Christian religion. The first christians trying to escape from the Roman soldiers who wanted to avoid the spreading of the Christian religion have settled in the region of Cappadocia which was so suitable for hiding and so they were able to continue their natures and to spread their religions. Saint Basileious from Kaisera and Saint Gregorios from Nyssa had settled in Cappadocia. In 647 A.C. together with occupation of Kayseri by Muaviye Cappadocia has met with the Arabian invasions. Cappadocia which went under the domination of the Seljuks in 1072 has been added to the lands of Ottoman Empire in 1399 by the Ottoman Sultan Yildirim Beyazit.


Cappadocia_Chimneys

Geography and climate

Cappadocia lies in eastern Anatolia, in the center of what is now Turkey. The relief consists of a high plateau over 1000 m in altitude that is pierced by volcanic peaks, with Mount Erciyes (ancient Argaeus) near Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) being the tallest at 3916 m. The boundaries of historical Cappadocia are vague, particularly towards the west. To the south, the Taurus Mountains form the boundary with Cilicia and separate Cappadocia from the Mediterranean Sea. To the west, Cappadocia is bounded by the historical regions of Lycaonia to the southwest, and Galatia to the northwest. The Black Sea coastal ranges separate Cappadocia from Pontus and the Black Sea, while to the east Cappadocia is bounded by the upper Euphrates, before that river bends to the southeast to flow into Mesopotamia, and the Armenian Highland. This results in an area approximately 400 km (250 mi) east–west and 250 km (160 mi) north–south. Due to its inland location and high altitude, Cappadocia has a markedly continental climate, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. Rainfall is sparse and the region is largely semi-arid.

cappadocia

 

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