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In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period.

                                       

It is believed that the first signs of monastic activity in Cappadocia date back to the 4th century at which time small anchorite communities, acting on the teachings of Basileios the Great, Bishop of Kayseri, began inhabiting cells hewn in the rock. In later periods, in order to resist Arab invasions, they began banding together into troglodyte villages or subterranean towns such as Kaymakli or Derinkuyu which served as places of refuge.

            


Although the area has been extensively used and modified by man for centuries the resulting landscape is one of harmony and consideration of the intrinsic values of the natural landforms. There has been some earthquake damage to some of the cones and pillars but this is seen as a naturally occurring phenomenon. In the ruin like landscape of the Cappadocia plateau where natural erosion has sculpted the tuff into shapes which are eerily reminiscent of towers, spires, domes and pyramids, man has added to the workmanship of the elements by digging cells, churches and veritable subterranean cities which together make up one of the world`s largest cave dwelling complexes. Although interesting from a geological and ethnological point of view, this phenomenal rupestral site excels especially for the incomparable beauty of the decor of the Christian sanctuaries whose features make Cappadocia one of the leading examples of post-iconoclast Byzantine art.

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Bozbuk · Bozbuk Bay · Milas-Bodrum,
Muğla TURKEY

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