Tag Archives: Cappadocia

Zelve Open Air Museum – Nevşehir, Turkey

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Zelve Open Air Museum

Zelve Açık Hava Müzesi
(90) 384 271 3535
50500 Nevşehir, Turkey


8:00 – 17:00   Daily,  Fall/Winter
8:00 – 19:00   Daily,  Spring/Summer


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Also in Nevşehir, through the Deviant valley (also known as the Valley of the Fairy Chimneys) one finds the Zelve Open Air Museum.

Zelve is a Byzantine-era monastery that was carved into the rock, and was one of the  last abandoned monastic settlements in Cappadocia.  Inhabited until 1952, when people were finally forced to evacuate the sandstone caves, when the risk of erosion became too dangerous.

In pre-iconoclastic times,  Christians moved to Zelve to hide during the Persian and Arab invasions.

Today it is a truly beautiful site to wander and contemplate the lives of those that made this otherworldly dwelling.

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Agzikarahan Caravanserai – Cappadocia, Turkey

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Caravanserais of Cappadocia

Cappadocia, Turkey

18:00 – 21:00   Daily

Beware the Whirling Dervishes!

Or better yet, go see them twirl in their evening ceremonies!

Since the 10th century camel trains (originally kervan or as we now call them Caravans) would trade across Turkey; stopping along their routes at inns known as kervansaray or caravanserai – the Caravan Place.  These buildings  eventually grew form small accommodations and stables into larger fortresses that would be used as both inns and religious purposes.

Just outside Goreme is the Caravanserais of Cappadocia; where you can wander during the day or take in the traditional Dervish Dance.  A anachronistic evening to be enjoyed with a just a few other tourists.


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Kaymaklı Underground City – Cappadocia, Turkey

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Kaymaklı Underground City

Cappadocia, Turkey

18:00 – 21:00   Daily

About 19 km from Nevşehir, hidden from view, are a total of 36 underground cities.

Built in the soft volcanic rock by the Phrygians, an Indo-European people, in the 8th–7th centuries B.C.; they consist of hundreds of tunnels and decent to as much as 8 floors below ground! Through the deep miles of tunnels, Kaymaklı was connected with much the older and deepest underground city of  Derinkuyu.  Currently only 4 of the cities are open to the public.

These cities were developed so entire populations could hide from the relentless waves of conquests that travelled through the Turkish passageway linking Europe and Asia.

Kaymaklı was used in the Byzantine era, for protection from  Arabs during the Arab–Byzantine wars (780-1180).

During the XIV century it was used for protection from the Mongolian incursions of Timur; entire populations cowering underground as the hordes of Genghis Kahn rode past!!!

Even as late as the 20th century  the underground cityes of Cappadocia served as refuges from the periodic waves of Ottoman persecution

As you pass through these warrens, you can’t help but imagining them bustling with life – as entire lives began and ended out of site of the sun!

Text: http://www.goreme.com/kaymakli-underground-city.php

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