During the ancient period, the term Cappadocia was referred to ‘a large region in the center of Anatolia’ and covered provinces of Kirsehir, Nevsehir, Aksaray, Nigde, Kayseri, Malatya, the eastern part of Ankara, the southern parts of Yozgat and Sivas, and the northern part of Adana.
Known as ‘Hatti’ in the late Bronze Age, Cappadocia or Kapadokya was the homeland of the Hittite power centred at Hattusa. The culture of the Hittites was fascinating and is evident even today in the form of colourful rock cut cave churches. The fall of the Hittite Empire, after getting defeated by the Lydian king Croesus, led to the decline of the Syro-Cappadocians (Mushki). At a later stage Cappadocia was taken over by feudal aristocracy of the Persians, which in turn led to the poor living conditions of the inferior class especially the peasants. The inhabitants were tormented to the extremes and had no option but to apt for foreign slavery.
After the Persian rule came to an end, the kingdom of Cappadocia went to the hands of Alexander the Great, who tried to rule the place but could not and instead a Persian aristrocrat- Ariarathes I became the King of Cappadocia. The kingdom lived in peace and harmony prevailed under the reign of the new king but the happiness was short lived for the people. With the death of their ruler came division of empire and Cappadocia fell to Eumenes. However, later we came to know about Eumenes's death and the only son of Ariarathes recovered his inheritance.
After the Persians left, the entry of the Tabal Kingdom in the mid 8th century left amazing inscriptions for us to admire. Today, these inscriptions are mainly located near Kayseri and Nevsehir, Sivasa, Topada, Kululu and Sultanhani.
With a vast difference from what it was earlier, today’s Cappadocia is entirely a more exciting, mysterious, adventurous and a beautiful destination.
- Goreme Open Air Museum
- Ihlara Valley
- Underground Cities