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The Land of Caves

TURKEY | Wednesday, 2 July 2014 | Views [263]

Caves of Goreme...used as Christian monasteries from about the 2nd century. There are many frescoes, still with vibrant colors, throughout this important UNESCO world heritage site.

Caves of Goreme...used as Christian monasteries from about the 2nd century. There are many frescoes, still with vibrant colors, throughout this important UNESCO world heritage site.

Our cave hotel room, only 250 years oldCurrent cave homeAncient caves, old caves, and modern caves, all in Capadoccia. After we left the hubbub of Istanbul arriving in the central Turkey region of Capaddocia was like being transported in time to a peaceful, desert oasis. We are in fact, in high desert. Very hot. Very dry. But more than that: exquisite beauty, people even MORE friendly than Istanbul, and ridicuously intricate historic caves.

From the ancient Goreme Open Air Museum, home to thousands of Christians living a monastic life since the 2nd century, to people still living in cave homes today (including our guide), and our hotel, converted from 250 year old caves, this land houses inumerable caves. The reason is a huge volcano, over 50 miles away blew up 80,000 year ago. The ash (not lava) covered the land and over many years of exposure to wind and rain was eroded into pinnacles, conical shaped rock formations. Seen nowhere else. The rock was soft enough to carve out with obsidian blades and ofer many generations and many different peoples cave dwellings emerged.

Some caves were used as places of worship, some homes, some storage, some to hide from invading armies.

The photos merely show 3 different periods of the many caves we visited. Ancient, old, and modernized.

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