We started out this morning touring what is called the Red Valley where many Christians lived in the cave dwellings. There were also many pigeon houses which were very important as they harvested the dung to fertilize the fields for the crops. Back then you were also considered wealthy if you had pigeons.
Then this afternoon we went and toured an underground city. There were several hundred people living in this cave city and there are several cave cities in this region where Christians had to hide out during war times. This was so amazing to understand how they had to survive. Of course back then with no electricity it was pitch black without a candle lit. But when they lit hundreds of candles and started the fires for cooking it would deplete the oxygen not to mention the smoke in the caves. So they drilled several air chambers to get fresh air into the caves but had to be careful as they could not be noticed outside.
The Roman soldiers used the first floor to live in so they could protect the Christians below them and go out and fight the enemies trying to kill the Christians. So the Christians all lived on the bottom 4 floors for protection by the Roman Soldiers. Keep in mind they only built these underground cities during the war times and then they would move back out to their normal cave houses.
Another great day to see the history of Christians in Turkey but to also understand the culture much better.
1-6 Drawings in churches from the 7th century
7 -8 Area where we went to see more houses where Christians lived, cave dwellings, churches and pigeon houses
9-11 More drawings in churches from the 7th Century
12-17 Old cave city including a mosque and one pic of the inside
18 Cool mosque in front of a cave city on a big rock(you can't see it all in this pic)
19 A huge cave city
20 Entry to 5 story underground city where Christians had to hide to not be killed. They had to stay underground for as long as 5 months at a time on many occasions
21 One of the churches in the underground city
22 Stone that would roll in front of an entrance to keep the enemy out. They had one at each outside entrance of course but also strategically placed throughout caves so if the enemy penetrated an area they could keep them from getting to everyone and also trap them and kill them. Notice the hole in the stone this was so they could poke a spear to kill the enemy if they did try to move the stone.
23 This was to hold drinks when they all were eating meals in the cave
24 A sign that shows many of the areas to visit in the Cappadocia region - Cappadocia not just a city but an entire region
25 Jim and I are going to start a High Street East