Cappadocia

Area: 5.467 km²

Population: 309.914 (2000)

Traffic Code: 50
The province of Nevşehir is one of the major cities of Cappadoccia Region and displays a beautiful combination of nature and history. The geographic movements had formed the fairy chimneys and during the historical development process, mankind had settled and inhabited these natural wonders, fairy chimneys and carved houses and churches inside these formations and adorned these settlements with frescos, carrying the traces of the thousands of years of their civilizations.

Districts: Nevşehir (center), Acıgöl, Avanos, Derinkuyu, Gülşehir, Hacıbektaş, Kozaklı, Ürgüp.


 

Nevşehir, The Capital Of Cappadocia

In the mythology of the Hittites and the Phrygians, the region of Nevşehir lies on the planet of Cappadocia, whose creation was the work of the Gods of the Volcanoes and which was shaped by the soft and magical hands of the Gods of the Rains and the Winds. Cappadocia represents a site where Nature and History have commingled in the most beautiful fashion in the world. While geographical circumstances created the Fairy Chimneys, human beings in the course of the historical process sculpted the interiors of these Fairy Chimneys to construct their dwellings and churches, which they decorated with frescoes that have survived as witnesses of civilizations thousands of years old. To preserve this incredible cultural treasury and prevent its capture by others, Thales of Miletus himself divided the Kızılırmağı river (the ancient Halys) into two sections to facilitate the crossing by the forces of the Lydian king to oppose the Persian invading forces. The first scientific calculations in history were also carried out here. Nevşehir constitutes the capital city of the planet Cappadocia. But, the renown of Cappadocia has so intensified as to extend beyond the nation's boundaries and overwhelm that of Nevşehir itself, which has nearly been forgotten. Here, therefore, we hope to conduct a complete survey of the historical and cultural aspect of the Nevşehir area.

The natural beauties and cultural wealth in the environs of Avanos, Zelye and Göreme have attracted the attention of historical writers and travelers for centuries. Historically, Cappadocia was first known as “Katpatuka” in the Persian period, signifying a region where fine horses were bred. It has not yet been resolved whether the word is of Hatti, Luwian, Hittite or Assyrian origin. Surviving documents make mention of horses and horse- breeding in this area. During the Great Kingdom period (1460-1190 B.C.), the Hittites assigned great importance to horses and horsebreeding. Correspondingly, they imported expert horsebreeders from the land of the Mitanni and transmitted their expertise to future generations by inscribing their words on clay tablets. As evidence, we might refer to a work written by a young Mitanni horsebreeding specialist named Kikkuli, which has been recovered from the contemporary Boğazköy state archives.

Precious histories have survived from the pens of Xenophon (401 B.C.), Strabon of Amasya (18 A.D.), Gregoir of Nissa (334-94 A.D.) and a young vineyard keeper of Machan (now, Göreme) (495-515 A.D.). Paul Lucas, appointed by the French Royal Court to travel in the countries of the Mediterranean, was the first observer of the modern period to a