Cave cities of Cappadocia
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Cave cities Of [kappadokii]

Several million years ago, even in the tertiary period, in Anatoliy occurred the volcanic eruption Of [erdzhiesh]-[Dagy] - highest mountain of Asia Minor. The flows of the lava, mixed with the ashes, gushed out into the valley To [gereme] and they covered territory into several thousand square kilometers with thick layer. Then winds took away in the long centuries, rains washed off light species, and the thickening lava and the pressed ashes gradually became tuff - soft in the working and simultaneously durable building material. Cave cities Of [kappadokii] Thus appeared the high cone-shaped cliffs Of [kappadokii] (locality on the average Anatoliy) - the entire forest of many-colored rock posts, spires, fungi and towers, that is pulled to tens of kilometers.

Before the eyes of travellers arises the very uncommon picture, when everywhere stretches the sea… of the thickening rock waves, created from tuff and sandstone. These waves go for a walk in the different directions: first steeply rocketing upward, then breaking downward or being built in the number, which resembles the gigantic bellows of the extended accordion.

In these places, isolated from the remaining part of Asia Minor by the impervious scaffolding and high mountains, the people long ago settled very. In the tuffaceous pilings up, which were being easily yielded to working, they cut down to themselves dwellings and cellars, on the fertile earth of valleys reared grain, the vegetables and fruits.

In IV century the desert and secluded caves of valley To [gereme] drew the monk- Christians, who flowed here of all regions of Roman empire. They found the caves, which were being formed in the lava cones, by ideal place for the [otshelnicheskogo] monastery, where it is possible to be nearer to the god. Caves there was much, and the strange form of cliff it is possible easily to hollow and to convert into the dwellings, in them it was possible to cut down other accomodations and to lay many motions. Monks zealous hollowed caves, arranging in them cells and churches, walls and arches of which decorated with many-colored frescoes.

Churches differed from each other both in the form of structure and in their sizes. Monks not long reflected above the names of their temples. Church authorities were far in Byzantium and could not to recluses their lightness. Therefore, monks named the large church, where it was dark, simply dark; and other - with the growing at the entrance apple trees - church of apple.

In IV century was based the monastery of archangels. On the legend, at its place there was in 325 tsarina Helen's lodging for the night, when it already in the very old years travelled into Jerusalem.

Then was it in the sleep celestial archangel Mikhail and he announced, that the holy cross Of [gospoden], hidden in the earth, will be extracted by it from there. Gratified by this information, the mother of emperor Constantine promised to erect temple at that place itself, where archistrategus was her.

- Not here, not here, said envoy [Bozhiy], and on the spot, that overgrew by thorns, where I myself you will bring, to construct abode into the name of archangels and all incorporeal forces, which store man and they [spospeshestvuyut] to righteous man to stand in the rightness.

After awaking, tsarina Helen saw above himself the fiery star, which and its [povela] into the way, and then stopped above the place, where one stone lay. Here was set the throne of archangels, and they fitted stone raised from the earth into the wall so that it would be possible to see its both opposite sides, which are distinguished by color.

All temples Of [kappadokii] are richly painted: walls, ceilings, columns and arches are covered with colorful frescoes. Painting was done in THE IX- X centuries, but in the dry coolness of fresco and they up to now preserved the protoplastic purity of paints. Egg yolk in combination with the plant and mineral components composed the basis of paints in all frescoes. Because of this basis of the paints, tightly assumed on tuffaceous ground, they do not fear dampness and are not cracked. Only somewhere the faces of the saints are cut all over by straight strips - these are tracks from the sabres of Seljuks.

History did not preserve the names of those, who created these icon-painting masterpieces. In the literature only foggily it is mentioned, that among the decorated cave temples painters there were the Armenians, and also Greeks from [Kilikii] and Byzantium.

The entrances into the underground dwellings and the temples thoroughly were disguised, passages from dwellings to church and monastery overlapped with the round rock blocks, which were rolled from the secret niches. Outside were derived the flues and the ventilation stems, not noticeable for the outside eye.

Underground cities, and them in [Kappadokii] several, considerably older with respect to the age of cave temples. Researchers consider that them they began to raise e[shch]e in the second millenium before our era. People, which occupied underground catacombs, were descendants from the states of [khettov]21, Assyrians and other regions of Asia Minor. Here found refuge slave- fugitives and gladiators Roman of empire, and late underground cities began to populate slaves, who escaped from the byzantine empire.

South of valley To [gereme] are located two cities - [Kaymakli] and To [derin]-[kyu], in which, until now, archaelogical studies are conducted. The small city Of [kaymakli] is interesting fact that under it is located one additional city underground. This sufficiently spacious, although a somewhat rather gloomy labyrinth of the motions and the halls, which were arranged at four levels.

[Derinkiy] city has eight underground levels and departs to the depth of 3^[mli] to 85 meters. These city- catacombs, cut everyone in the same tuff, was arranged on 6-8 level- floors and therefore they could serve as refuge immediately for several thousand people. Everything in the cities was adapted for the prolonged stay: food warehouses, wells, kitchen, ventilation, hollowed into the stone- vats, in which they pressed grapes and wine made. Here they lived, celebrated weddings, gave birth to children, they died. In the city- catacombs, besides monastery and churches, were workshops, even stable and enclosure for the cattle.

When there was no direct danger of attack, people left from the underground cities to the surface and whereas were occupied by agriculture in the case of danger they they were again hidden underground, having thoroughly disguised all motions into their dwellings.

From generation to generation the inhabitants Of [kaymakli] [Derinkyuyu] deepened and improved their underground dwellings, was done entire possible so as to secure themselves from the enemy attacks. They built the false corridors, which concluded with deep failures, matters secret passages into the living rooms and the halls. Air in the cities was clean and fresh; therefore it breathed there easily. Through all floors, under which flow the ground water, there were probits ventilating shafts with the apertures in each tier. By the tubs, attached to the thick ropes, underground inhabitants raised upward the water

Scientists assumed that The [kaymakli] cities and [Derinkyuyu] were, possibly, connected between the underground tunnel, but its long time could not find. But here speleologists completely randomly revealed into The [deinkyuyu], at the level of the third tier, the high and wide corridor, which moved aside from one of the tunnels. It turned out that precisely this corridor even 21 names “Of [kappadokiya]” goes back to the language of ancient Hittites and is transferred “the country of white horses” it connected two cities, so that their inhabitants, even without leaving to the surface, they could associate between themselves and help each other in the fight with the enemy.

In XIV century powerful byzantine empire fall under the impacts Turk, and for the change to Christianity arrived Islam. Turks knew about the Christians living here, but sufficiently tolerantly related to them, did not destroy their temples and dwellings. But subsequently monastery in the valley To [gereme] be made burning hot, and monks dispersed to the different sides. There are no acting churches here at present, since there is no Christian population: last Christians left [Kappadokiyu] in 1924.

However, Turk- peasants adopted the experience of Christian monks. Since there was no tree for the erection of houses, they also began to cut down to themselves dwellings in the lava cones. Such houses even had some advantages: they cost nothing (except their own labor), they did not require repair and protected from the robbers. Furthermore, it was possible to constantly enlarge them, adding to the basic accomodation the storerooms: and if family grew, then new rooms.

In such [zhilishakh] usually there is a large room with a height of up to three meters, which is simultaneously drawing room, and table. In the middle it stands the large table, carved from the stone, and the rock seats, which are pulled along the walls. They are covered with carpet and thin pillows; several carpets hang on the walls. In all accomodations are cut usually two windows.


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