The landscape of this part of Turkey is spectacular, and human activity has made the rock formations even more fascinating.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
Official title: Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural and natural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 357:
“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. Dwellings, troglodyte villages and underground towns the remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century can also be seen there.”
I wrote this in my blog in 1986:
“It is remarkable how water and wind, and humans, have managed to shape the landscape. Some places reminded me of the Grand Canyon in the USA, others of the Stone Forest in southern China, but most must be quite unique on a global perspective. There were churches everywhere. Some monasteries were located inside the cliffs. People had been digging large rooms, long dark tunnels and painted beautiful murals. In multitude. The sites date back to 600-800 AD.”