It’s one of the strangest landscapes you’ll ever see: the cliffs and valleys and fairy chimneys of Göreme National Park in Cappadocia. Wind and water erosion scoured out this land of soft volcanic ash (tufa) leaving this extraordinary place of valleys and pillars, some of which rise to 130 feet (40m).
The earliest settlers were Christian exiles in Roman times and they carved churches into the rock, along with houses and tombs. In the Middle Ages Göreme became an important religious center with monasteries, churches and chapels; many of which have impressive Byzantine religious wall paintings. Some of the most important are Basil Kilise (St Basil’s Church), Elmali Kilise (Apple Church), and the richly decorated Tokali Kilise (Buckle Church), which is the oldest. The best-preserved and recently restored frescoes can be found in the Karanlık Kilise (Dark Church).
Cappadocia’s Grand Canyon, the 328 ft (100 m) deep Ihlara Valley was formed by the Melendiz River thousands of years ago.
Around 4,000 people lived in the valley and there were 80 churches carved into the cliff faces, 12 of which can be visited today. These days the valley is home to one of the most popular hiking trails in Cappadocia with 26 bends along an 8 mile (14km) route that passes vineyards and pistacio trees.
The valley begins at the village of Ihlara and ends at Selime Monastery in the village of Selime, but there are two other entrances depending on how far you are willing to hike. Around 2.8 miles (4 km) into the valley is the most popular entry point with 300 steps down to the valley floor. Or you can drive to the village of Belisirma in the middle of the valley. The best section for seeing churches is between Ihlara and Belisirma.
Bezienswaardigheden in de omgeving van Cappadocia
- Bezienswaardigheden in Göreme
- Bezienswaardigheden in Ürgüp
- Bezienswaardigheden in Turkish Riviera
- Bezienswaardigheden in Turkse Zwarte-Zeekust
- Bezienswaardigheden in West-Anatolië
- Bezienswaardigheden in Kayseri
- Bezienswaardigheden in Ankara
- Bezienswaardigheden in Alanya
- Bezienswaardigheden in Nicosia
- Bezienswaardigheden in Antalya
- Bezienswaardigheden in Egeïsche kust
- Bezienswaardigheden in Dodekanesos
- Bezienswaardigheden in Zwarte-Zeekust
- Bezienswaardigheden in Westelijke Jordaanoever
- Bezienswaardigheden in Black Sea Coast