Cappadocia has specific geological features which cannot be seen in any other parts of the world, there used to be three active volcanoes scatted in the region and their eruptions throughout the years created multi-layered lava-covered plain. The porous rock formed by consolidation of volcanic ash is called tuff. It is soft, easy to carve and believed to be 15 meters deep. Activities of these three volcanos ceased almost 2 million years ago and left a large plain behind. Dormant volcanos (Erciyes, Melendiz, and Hasan) are still mighty but do not pose any risk presently.
The thick lava formation has been shaped by natural forces for centuries. Flowing rivers formed deep valleys and the wind helped the chimneys survive. The region’s most known feature is the mysterious spikes with a hat that resembles chimneys.
The question is how and why these chimneys have not been ravaged by the same natural forces that formed the valleys. It is believed that the mystery is caused by the hat it carries. Heavy layer implies pressure on the softer tuff, squeezes it and makes the form harder, not until it loses its heavier hat (squeezing pressure) it will resist natural forces.
The origin of the name of Cappadocia is still an enigma. Some believe it means “country of beautiful horses” in ancient Persian language and some believe “low country” in Hittite language. The area has been an important center of Hittite Empire for centuries before it was ruled by Persians, Macedonians (Alexander the Great), Romans, Byzantines, Seljuk Empire, Ottomans and Turkish Republic. Today it is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in the Nevsehir, Kayseri, Kirsehir, Aksaray, and Nigde Provinces in Turkey.
The Cappadocian Kingdom was established in 332 B.C. During the Roman era, the area served as a shelter for the early escaping Christians. There are also several underground cities used by early Christian as hideouts.