Goreme ( in Ancient Greek — Korama) , located among the “fairy chimney” rock formations, is a town in Cappadocia, Nevsehir Province in Central Anatolia and has a population of around 2,500 people. ———–Former names of the town have been Korama, Macean and Avcilar. When the Goreme Valley, nearby, was designated an important tourist destination, a “centre” for all tourism in Cappadocia, the name of the town was changed to “Goreme” for practical reasons. The Goreme National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
The location of Goreme was first settled back in the Roman Period. Christianity was then the prevailing religion in the region, which is evident from many “Rock Churches” that can still be seen today. —– Among Goreme’s historically important sites are Ortahane, Durmus Kadir, Bezirhane Church, in addition to the richly-decorated Tokali Kilise, the Apple Church and a number of homes and pigeon house carved straight into the rock formations in the town.
In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Goreme 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.
Located on the central Anatolia Plateau within a volcanic landscape, sculpted by erosion to form a succession of mountain ridges, valleys and pinnacles known as “fairy chimneys” or “hoodoos”.
The area is bounded on the south and east by ranges of extinct volcanoes with Erciyes Dag (3,916m) at one end and Hasan Dag (3,253m) at the other. The density of its rock-hewn cells, churches, troglodyte villages and underground cities within the
rock formations, make it one of the world’s most striking and largest cave-dwelling complexes. The Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, have been extensively used and modified by man for many centuries, and is a landscape of harmony combining human interaction and settlement with dramatic natural landforms. There has been some earthquake damage to some of the cones and pillars, but this is seen as a naturally occurring phenomenon. Overuse by tourists and some vandalism have been reported and some incompatible structures have been introduced.
The erosional processes, that formed the conical rock structures, will continue to create new “fairy chimneys” and rock pillars . However, due to the rate of this process, the natural value of the property may still be threatened by unsustainable use.
The World Heritage Property ——— Goreme National Park and the rock sites of Cappadocia is subject to legal protection in accordance with both the Protection of Cultural and Natural Resources Acts. The entire territory between the cities of Nevsehir, Urgup and Avanos is designated as a National Park. In addition, archaeological and natural conservation areas, 2 underground towns, 5 troglodyte villages and more than 200 individual rock-hewn churches, some of which contain numerous frescoes, have been entered into the register of immovable monuments and sites.