A unique natural wonder and an important cultural center
Located in heart of Anatolian peninsula, Cappadocia is an otherworldly miracle of both nature and men. The unique landscape of Cappadocia region was formed about 60 million years ago. Soft volcanic rock shaped by erosion into towers, cones, valleys and carved for making caves, tunnels,
underground cities decorated with outstanding examples of different civilizations. The spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide uniqe evidence of Byzantine art. As if plucked from a whimsical fairytale and set down upon the stark Anatolian
plains, Cappadocia is a geological oddity of honeycombed hills and towering boulders of otherworldly beauty. The fantastical topography is matched by the human history here. People have long utilized the region’s soft stone, seeking shelter underground and leaving the countryside
scattered with fascinating cavern architecture. The fresco-adorned rock-cut churches of Göreme Open-Air Museum and the subterranean refuges of Derinkuyu and Kaymaklı are the most famous sights, while simply bedding down in one of Cappadocia’s cave hotels is an experience in 21st-
century cave living

The earliest record of the name of Cappadocia dates from the late 6th century BC, when it appears in the trilingual inscriptions of two early Achaemenid kings, Darius I and Xerxes, as one of the countries (Old Persian dahyu-) of the Persian Empire. In these lists of countries, the Old Persian name is Katpatuka. It was proposed that Kat-patuka came from the Luwian language, meaning “Low Country”. Subsequent research suggests that the adverb katta meaning ‘down, below’ is exclusively Hittite, while its Luwian equivalent is zanta. Therefore, the recent modification of this proposal operates with the Hittite katta peda-, literally “place below” as a starting point for the development of the toponym Cappadocia. The earlier derivation from Iranian Hu-aspa-dahyu ‘Land of good horses’ can hardly be reconciled with the phonetic shape of Kat-patuka. A number of other etymologies have also been offered in the past.

Cappadocia lies in central Anatolia, in the heartland of what is now Turkey. The relief consists of a high plateau over 1000 m in altitude that is pierced by volcanic peaks, with Mount Erciyes (ancient Argaeus) near Kayseri (ancient Caesarea) being the tallest at 3916 m. The boundaries of historical Cappadocia are vague, particularly towards the west. To the south, the Taurus Mountains form the boundary with Cilicia and separate Cappadocia from the Mediterranean Sea. To the west, Cappadocia is bounded by the historical regions of Lycaonia to the southwest, and Galatia to the northwest. Due to its inland location and high altitude, Cappadocia has a markedly continental climate, with hot dry summers and cold snowy winters. Rainfall is sparse and the region is largely semi-arid.