Cappadocia’s History

Cappadocia was formed by natural creations. 60 million years ago Erciyes, Hasan and Güllüdağ volcanoes burst and its lavas and dusts disrupted the area, then these were shaped by wind and watercourse.

Human settlement in the area goes back to paleolithic age. The lands which Hittitte lived became the most important center for Christianity. The houses and churches that carved into the caves became enormous shelter for Christians that run away from Roman Empire.

Cappadocia Region contains Nevşehir, Kırşehir, Niğde, Aksaray and Kayseri cities.

Cappadocia region is a place where history and nature meets. While geoghraphic creations were shaping the area people carved houses and churches into the caves and decorated their buildings with frescos. Cappadocia’s written history starts with Hittittes. Also Cappadocia is an important crossroad of Ipek Way which connects countries and help traders to trade.

After the Collapse of Hittite Empire in 12th century BC the dark age started in the region. At this time young Hittite Kings who have Assyrian and Phryigian impressions ruled the area. These little kingdoms last till 6th century BC Persian invasion. The term “Cappadocia” comes from Persian language and it means “Land For Beautiful Horses”. In 332 BC Alexander the Great won Persians but saw a great resistence in the area. Then Cappadocia Kingdom was founded. At the end of the 3rd century BC Roman’s power started to be felt in the area.

In the middle of 1st century BC Cappadocia kings were assigned by Roman general officers. In 17 AC the last Cappadocia king died and the region became a Roman Providence.

In 3rd century AC Christians came to region and the region became education and thought center. Between 303 and 308 years AC the restraint on Christians increased. But Cappadocia is a perfect place to avoid restraints and to spread Christianity. The shelters carved into the caves in deep valleys were safe against Roman soldiers.

4th century was the age of people called “ Cappadocia’s Fathers”. But the region’s importance became the highest when Leon 3 banned the icons. At this time icon proponent people started to hide in Cappadocia. Iconoclasm movement lasted more than a hundred year. In this period although some of Cappadocia churchs were under Iconoclasm effect icon proponents worshipped freely. Cappadocia monasteries developed much in this period.

Again in this period Arabic invasions started against Armenian. People running away from these invasions came to region and caused the change in churchs. In 11th and 12th century AC the region was ruled by Seljuk Empire. After then Ottoman ruled the region and Christians lived freely. The las Christians left Cappadocia in 1924-1926 with population exchange leaving the wonderful architectural samples.