Pictures & Images of Goreme National Park Fairy Chimneys & Cave Churches - { 404 images } Created 13 Feb 2019

(updated 2021)
Pictures & images of the fairy chimneys, rock formations and cave churches and monasteries of Goreme National Park, Cappadocia. A UNESCO World Heritage Site. 2 million years ago Cappadocia was an active volcanic area with Mount Erciyes erupting lava and volcanic ash that covered 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq miles) to a depth of several hundred meters. Rain and flood waters have eroded deep gorges in Cappadocia area like Goreme National Park the water formed . 2.6 million years ago there was a massive volcanic eruption from Mount Erciyes in central Anatolia . This resulted in 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi) being covered in volcanic ash hundreds of meters deep. Over time the ash turned into soft volcanic tuff rock which was eroded by water into the rock formations we see today in Cappadocia. In some areas harder rock deposits protected the softer rock below leading to the formation of “fairy chimneys” or hoodoos. This has created an incredible landscape, entirely sculpted by water erosion, the Goreme valley and its surroundings contain rock hewn churches and monasteries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. Dwellings, troglodyte villages and underground towns dating back to the 4th century. Come of the biggest “fairy chimneys” or hoodoos can be seen in “Love Valley” near Goreme. When the weather and winds allow this is a popular valley for the hot air balloons, that are a popular dawn tourist trip, to descend into. Uçhisar was first reported in the 14th century by Aziz ibn Ardasir but was occupied far earlier by the Hittites. The natural defensive nature of the high volcanic tuff rock standing 60 meters high with a vantage point over the Cappadocian plateau made it a natural place to build a castle. The Byzantine Romans did this as part of a buffer zone against Islamic expansion into Anatolia in the 5th century. Zelve monastery complex is a series of interconnected cave churches and room that are cut into the soft volcanic rocks of a remote valley in the Goreme National Park. The landscape is typical of this part of Cappadocia with fairy chimney rock formations. There are thousands of cave dwellings to explore in the Goreme National Park which is why it is such a popular tourist destination

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