ONE OF A KIND / Caves in Cappadocia

Amidst the surreal, moon-like landscape, a variety of entrances become apparent, each large enough for a person to fit into. While the characteristic formations may be nicknamed “fairy chimneys,” the rocks here have been a very real home and refuge to humans for centuries.

Located in central Turkey, Cappadocia is a region renowned for its rock formations and historical sites. The variety of striking shapes — mountain ridges, valleys and pinnacles — have been sculpted entirely by volcanic activity and erosion. But the area’s many caves have largely been hewn by humans, serving as sites of monastic activity since the 4th century, and later as a sanctuary and site of worship for early Christians fleeing invasions in the Middle Ages. Today, some caves have even been converted into hotels to allow tourists to experience cave-dwelling first-hand.

Photos: Cappadocia, Turkey (including Göreme Open-Air Museum, Honey Valley, and views of Red Valley/Rose Valley) / April 2014

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