There are countless books and picture books about
Cappadocia, but I found it difficult to
get a practical or handy guide with clear overviews. This Cappadocia
Guide by Turgay Tuna and Bülent Demirdurak (ISBN 978-6055488055),
however, is exactly what I was looking for.
The book is starting with a distinctive topography of
Cappadocia, without which the
very site, now part of the UNESCO World Heritage, would not exist. Its role in
history as “country of the beautiful horses” is then summarized and special
attention is given to the monastic life in those protected valleys and to the
many churches that were cut out the soft tuff walls.
The main part of this guide then takes the reader through the successive regions:
From Göreme to Avanos, with the Fairy Chimneys, the churches of Göreme, the underground cities, the Cappadocia “citadels” and caravanserais;
From Ürgüp (one of Cappadocia’s oldest settlements) to Soğanlı, including the antique city of
From Aksaray to Ihlara with Güzelyurt, the cradle of monastic life, and the magnificent canyon of the
; Ihlara Valley
From Nevşehir (actually located at the very center of
Cappadocia) to Hacibektaş.
The guide concludes with some extra information about Cappadocia’s rich fauna and flora, including useful details about the delicious
Whether you visit the site on your own or on a guided tour, this book definitely helps to mentally place the huge amount of fresco’s from the many churches in their rightful context. It may not show on the picture but the guide is available in English.