2024 is Religious year in Cappadocia / Biblical
Cappadocia, also known as Katpatuka
has been the cradle of civilisations for centuries. The very first unearthed findlings are dating back to Neolithic era, found in the caves of Gulsehir. Our ancestors gifted some precious hand-made weapons and tools made out of obsidian and flintstone signifying that they were hunters and gatheres of this era. It is not suprising to find out that Cappadocia has become popular afterwards as the region was quite
fertile and secluded for the tribes to shelter and protect their cultures and religions.
was also home to trade connoisseurs of the world history ‘
’ who brought the art of trade to
and established trade centers in today’s Kayseri known as ‘
Kanish & Karums
today has gifted myriads of clay written tablets to the world history giving us ideas about their culture, trade style, economics, marriages and traditions.
Cappadocia is also recorded as the ‘shelter
communities since the begining of
was born and spread throughout Anatolia. The arrival of basic monks and carving of ‘hermitages
’ or ‘monk cells
’ date back to late
which aimed a deep solitude in origin and live in pure seclusion. The hidden valleys constituted a refuge for the early
who fled from oppression and death. When the emperor
granted religious freedom to
had to a great degree become
. The tufa rocks that were used as a shelter throughout history by those who fled hostile enemies or who withdrew from the world, were ideal as places to hide and leave the world behind. When the persecution of Christians began to increase in the 4th C, the shelters carved into the rocks of Cappadocia became a magnet for believers. Later, with the presence of religious men, who would be known as the ‘
’, each of whom would be elevated to ‘sainthood’, Cappadocia has become a center of religious life and thought. Three great saints of the region during the 4th are outstanding;
( The Theologian
from Aksaray village (329-394)
) from present
and St. Basil of Caesarea
) from present Kayseri. The person who achieved the realization of monastic life that evolved in this manner in Cappadocia and who was acknowledged as the
Head Saint of the Christians of Cappadocia
. He founded a way of life in Cappadocia similar to that led in the monasteries he visited in Egypt and Syria, which was based on the principle of communality.
St. Basil was opposed to the wholly random and scattered pattern of settlement and urged for a more compact arrangement. Cappadocia was taking the lead in the popularity of the Christian centers subject to the Pontus king dom.
The monk Simeon
founded a Christian colony at Zelve, which evolved into a prominent monastery hierarchy. At present, our knowledge concerning the social and religious life at Cappadocia is limited. What we know so far is that in the early phase Christian communities began to take refuge in secluded valleys, so as not to prompt the angry opposition of the
. At Avanos, they settled at such places, as
on the hill of Cavusin
and the peaks of
( todays Aksaray
or in early Roman cemeteries. They began to hew out churches from rock formations next to the cemeteries. Some monasteries are very ancient. For instance, the
Ozkonak Belha monastery
at Avanos dates to the sixth century, and the
Uzumlu church at Zelve
is even earlier.
The Basil the Great (330-79)
discovered for himself a peaceful, secluded and a quite fertile and well-watered site. Here were conducted both the religious practices of prayer, reading and retreat and also handicrafts, trades and even agricultural cultivation. It is related that the first agricultural plots in the region were cultivated by religious functionaries. The monks both supplied their own foodstuffs and fed the poor and wretched wayfarers who took shelter with them. In the Middle Ages, this kind of monastic structure assumed the appearance of a place of retreat, where people who built churches and who supported and commissioned them would retire when they became old. Not surprisingly, the demand to meet the needs of these institutions led the monks to ven
ture into commercial enterprise. The monks would regularly set out on long journeys and voyages to sell merchandise and then return.
The monasteries of Basil were not centralized under one head, because each community offered submission to its own leader and easily agreed to the addition of new Christian communities by their side. In any case, the communities were not com- pelled by ritual to worship together at the same time.Naturally, at the time Christian beliefs were being promulgated, it was common for fragmentation to take place. Those who hallowed St. Stylite reserved sacred spaces on rocky peaks; small village communities also spread to smaller and more modest areas parallel with the breaking up of land plots. The clergy raised grains, vegetables, fruit and tended vineyards; they also raised flocks of sheep and herded cattle; some became weavers, others blacksmiths. These colonies were generally situated on the outskirts of a town or in hidden isolated valleys in their environs. These two communities (Stylites and poor villagers) got on well together and made their cemeteries-and even their churches-side by side. This social intermingling also brought disease and epidemics due to poverty and hunger.
The bitter circumstances of life urged the people to take refuge in belief, and the people began to crowd the churches of Cappadocia. They also opened wide the gates to the conquests of the Seljuks. This laid the foundation for the downfall of the Byzantines in one blow.
Reaction against these circumstances by those who remained tied to the essence of primitive Christianity led to the emergence of monastery life. In North Africa, where the understanding of primitive Christianity is still strong, one portion of the Christians decided in the second half of the third century to with
draw from the world and gave themselves over to religious, contemplation and ordeal in secluded corners. After the first monastery was founded on an island in the Upper Nile, this movement rapidly spread to Palestine, Syria, Armenia and Cappadocia to achieve this goal and to return to the new primitive Christianity.
As a result of this never-ending struggle between 1st & 14th C.AD, there have been thousands of churches, monasteries and chaples have been carved into Cappadocian valleys. The system of Monastic settlement under the leadership of St. Basil was maintained in the churches of Soganli, Ihlara, Goreme and Acıksaray Valleys. Cappadocian saints played an important role in the foundation of
and Orhtodox churches
which were all adorned with ‘biblical stories’ inspired from ‘Old Testament
‘ and ‘New Testament
Art of Cappadocian Churches
Two different painting techniques can be observed in Cappadocian churches. The first technique, Red ochrepainting applied directly to bare surface without using plaster or surface coating. In this type of painting seen in churches and chapels of the Early Byzantine era, Maltese Crosss and geometrci and vegetal motifs took a prominent place. In later times, this type of painting was covered with a plaster mixture and painted with themes dedicated to Christian belief.
In the second technique, the painting was done on plaster surface. Two different methods were used. Either the fresco technique was used
on wet plaster or the tempera- or so called ‘
’ was used after the plaster was dried.
The topics adorned the interior walls of churches and chapels were from the Bible and The old Testament. First and foremost, the life of
and the Saints
were depicted. The immortals were depicted on domes while mortals were depicted on walls, Scene known as ‘
’ depicted the trio of Jesus, Mother Mary and John the Baptist, occupy the main apse of the churches.
The topics of the fescoes in Cappadocian churches were generally arrayed in chronological order. Events before Christ and after the birth of Christ (
The journey to Betlehem, the Nativity, The Three wise Kings, Escape to Egypt and so on
…). The miracles performed by Jesus (
Healing of the Sick, Raising of Lazarus from the Dead
…) and the agony of Christ (
Entry of Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the Last Judgement, Juda’s Betrayal, the Curcifixion
New Budget Biblical Cappadocia Tours, Promotion 2024 all years
We offer to you our modern, comfortable air - conditioned mini van
with driver and services of the licensed English speaking guide!
They will pick you up and bring to any of requested sights.
Start City : Cappadocia, Cappadocia Hotels
/ Cappadocia Airport
End City :
Kayseri Airport, Cappadocia
Scheduled / Operates on : Jan 1st 2024 - Dec 31st 20244: Daily
Tour Highlights :
Arrival in Kayseri or Cappadocia airport and greeted by your expert local tour guide and private transportation. After a brief introduction of Cappadocia, you will journey back into Christian times with your visits to ‘must see sites’ of Cappadocia including Zelve Open Air Museum.
Price From: $816.00
- Entrance Fees
- Vehicle Facilities
- Licensed / Guide
Start City : Cappadocia, Cappadocia Hotels / Cappadocia Airport
End City :
Kayseri Airport, Cappadocia
Scheduled / Operates on : Jan 1st 2024 - Dec 31st 2024: Daily
Tour Highlights :
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Price From: $840.00
- Entrance Fees
- Vehicle Facilities/Lunch
- Licensed / Guide
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