Goreme National Park and Rock Sites of Cappadocia - a spectacular landscape, mountain ridges, valleys and pinnacles known as “fairy chimneys”

Baku, April 16, AZERTAC

Turkiye’s central Cappadocia region offers visitors a journey through stunning landscapes rich with treasures both natural and cultural.

In 1985, Goreme National Park was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and today it is one of Turkey’s top 10 tourist attractions.

There is evidence of human life dating back 5,000 years in Goreme National Park -- the jewel of Cappadocia -- and as of the third century A.D. it became a shelter for people living in its networks of natural cave formations or carved out of the soft rock.

Located on the central Anatolia plateau within a volcanic landscape sculpted by erosion to form a succession of mountain ridges, valleys and pinnacles known as “fairy chimneys” or hoodoos, Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia cover the region between the Turkish cities of Nevşehir, Ürgüp and Avanos, the sites of Karain, Karlık, Yeşilöz, Soğanlı and the subterranean cities of Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu.

Goreme is also home to many churches, chapels, and shelters used during the early years of the Christian faith, as well as a dazzling array of the natural formations known as fairy chimneys.

The area is bounded on the south and east by ranges of extinct volcanoes with Erciyes Dağ (3916 m) at one end and Hasan Dağ (3253 m) at the other.

The density of its rock-hewn cells, churches, troglodyte villages and subterranean cities within the rock formations make it one of the world's most striking and largest cave-dwelling complexes.

Though interesting from a geological and ethnological point of view, the incomparable beauty of the decor of the Christian sanctuaries makes Cappadocia one of the leading examples of the post-iconoclastic Byzantine art period.

The rupestral dwellings, villages, convents and churches retain the fossilized image of a province of the Byzantine Empire between the 4th century and the arrival of the Seljuk Turks (1071). Thus, they are the essential vestiges of a civilization which has disappeared.

Cappadocia is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement which has become vulnerable under the combined effects of natural erosion and, more recently, tourism.

In a spectacular landscape dramatically demonstrating erosional forces, the Göreme Valley and its surroundings provide a globally renowned and accessible display of hoodoo landforms and other erosional features, which are of great beauty, and which interact with the cultural elements of the landscape.





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