Land of Fairy Chimneys At Goreme and Urgup Cappadocia,
Fairy Chimneys At Goreme
The lava that came out of Mount Erciyes during its eruptions thousands of years ago covers an area of approximately 4000 km2. After the volcano became extinct the region was exposed for centuries to extensive erosion through wind, snow, and rain. In this process, owing to the peculiar composition of the soil, certain parts and ingredients dissolved or were eroded much faster leaving behind the strange shapes we call “fairy chimneys” today. The advance of the Arab armies caused the Byzantine population of Derinkuyu to come and settle at Goreme, which was earlier called GOremi. This name was supposed to mean “you cannot see”. It was then changed into Korama and then finally into Goreme. The place lies between Nevsehir (17 km.) and Urgup (10 km.) St. Paul considered Goreme as the most suitable place to train missionaries. Though the name covered a larger area, now it is applied only to one valley with a variety of “fairy chimneys” and rock churches, which deserve the great interest shown in them. Goreme, which was one of the greatest centers of Christianity from the VI to the IX century, contains almost 400 churches. The majority of these churches are to be found at Zelve, Mustafa Paa, Avcilar, Ughisar, Ortahisar, and Cavusin village. All these villages lie very close to each other and are essentially part of Goreme. The churches in Goreme alone are Tokali Church, Carikli Church, Karanlik Church, Meryem Ana Church (Church of the Virgin Mary), Elmali Church, Yilanli Church and Barbara Church. The most varied ranges of fairy chimneys are to be seen at Zelve.
It is a town in the Nevsehir province and lies 22km. to the east of Nevsehir, on the Kayseri highway 7 km. to Goreme. It was Urgup that acted as a pioneer to make this province known to the world. Through the enterprising spirit of its mayor, Ali Baran NumanoOlu and its population, hotels with wine on tap in the rooms, campings, and pensions were built. Owing to the hospitality of its people and the entertainment provided (for example folk dances by dancing groups every evening) most tourists prefer to spend the night in Urgup.
Besides its historical wealth, the town is noted for its wines, carpets, and handicrafts. The sunset in the Cappadocian valleys from the top of “fairy chimneys” is an unforgettable sight.