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2017 is Religious year in Cappadocia / Biblical Cappadocia Tours

  Biblical Cappadocia

Overview

Cappadocia, also known as Katpatuka has been the cradle of civilisations for centuries. The very first unearthed findlings are dating back to Neolithic era, found in the caves of Gulsehir. Our ancestors gifted some precious hand-made weapons and tools made out of obsidian and flintstone signifying that they were hunters and gatheres of this era. It is not suprising to find out that Cappadocia has become popular afterwards as the region was quite Biblical Cappadocia Toursfertile and secluded for the tribes to shelter and protect their cultures and religions.

Cappadocia was also home to trade connoisseurs of the world history ‘ Assyrians’ who brought the art of trade to Anatolia and established trade centers in today’s Kayseri known as ‘ Kanish & Karums’. Kultepe today has gifted myriads of clay written tablets to the world history giving us ideas about their culture, trade style, economics, marriages and traditions.

Cappadocia is also recorded as the ‘shelter’ for Christian communities since the begining of 1st C.AD when Christianity was born and spread throughout Anatolia. The arrival of basic monks and carving of ‘hermitages’ or ‘monk cells’ date back to late 1st C.AD which aimed a deep solitude in origin and live in pure seclusion. The hidden valleys constituted a refuge for the early Christians who fled from oppression and death. When the emperor Constantine granted religious freedom to Christians, Cappadocia had to a great degree become Christianized. The tufa rocks that were used as a shelter throughout history by those who fled hostile enemies or who withdrew from the world, were ideal as places to hide and leave the world behind. When the persecution of Christians began to increase in the 4th C, the shelters carved into the rocks of Cappadocia became a magnet for believers. Later, with the presence of religious men, who would be known as the ‘ Cappadocian Fathers’, each of whom would be elevated to ‘sainthood’, Cappadocia has become a center of religious life and thought. Three great saints of the region during the 4th are outstanding; St. Gregory ( The Theologian) of Nazianzos from Aksaray village (329-394), St. Gregory of Nyssa (335-394) from present Nevsehir and St. Basil of Caesarea ( 329-379) from present Kayseri. The person who achieved the realization of monastic life that evolved in this manner in Cappadocia and who was acknowledged as the Head Saint of the Christians of Cappadocia was St. Basil. He founded a way of life in Cappadocia similar to that led in the monasteries he visited in Egypt and Syria, which was based on the principle of communality.
Biblical Cappadocia Tours
St. Basil was opposed to the wholly random and scattered pattern of settlement and urged for a more compact arrangement. Cappadocia was taking the lead in the popularity of the Christian centers subject to the Pontus king dom. The monk Simeon founded a Christian colony at Zelve, which evolved into a prominent monastery hierarchy. At present, our knowledge concerning the social and religious life at Cappadocia is limited. What we know so far is that in the early phase Christian communities began to take refuge in secluded valleys, so as not to prompt the angry opposition of the polytheistic Roman believers. At Avanos, they settled at such places, as Kisistra, Mavrucan on the hill of Cavusin and in Soganli valley and the peaks of Archelhais( todays Aksaray), Hasan Dagi and Belisirma or in early Roman cemeteries. They began to hew out churches from rock formations next to the cemeteries. Some monasteries are very ancient. For instance, the Ozkonak Belha monastery at Avanos dates to the sixth century, and the Uzumlu church at Zelve is even earlier.

The Basil the Great (330-79) discovered for himself a peaceful, secluded and a quite fertile and well-watered site. Here were conducted both the religious practices of prayer, reading and retreat and also handicrafts, trades and even agricultural cultivation. It is related that the first agricultural plots in the region were cultivated by religious functionaries. The monks both supplied their own foodstuffs and fed the poor and wretched wayfarers who took shelter with them. In the Middle Ages, this kind of monastic structure assumed the appearance of a place of retreat, where people who built churches and who supported and commissioned them would retire when they became old. Not surprisingly, the demand to meet the needs of these institutions led the monks to venBiblical Cappadocia Toursture into commercial enterprise. The monks would regularly set out on long journeys and voyages to sell merchandise and then return.

The monasteries of Basil were not centralized under one head, because each community offered submission to its own leader and easily agreed to the addition of new Christian communities by their side. In any case, the communities were not com- pelled by ritual to worship together at the same time.Naturally, at the time Christian beliefs were being promulgated, it was common for fragmentation to take place. Those who hallowed St. Stylite reserved sacred spaces on rocky peaks; small village communities also spread to smaller and more modest areas parallel with the breaking up of land plots. The clergy raised grains, vegetables, fruit and tended vineyards; they also raised flocks of sheep and herded cattle; some became weavers, others blacksmiths. These colonies were generally situated on the outskirts of a town or in hidden isolated valleys in their environs. These two communities (Stylites and poor villagers) got on well together and made their cemeteries-and even their churches-side by side. This social intermingling also brought disease and epidemics due to poverty and hunger.

The bitter circumstances of life urged the people to take refuge in belief, and the people began to crowd the churches of Cappadocia. They also opened wide the gates to the conquests of the Seljuks. This laid the foundation for the downfall of the Byzantines in one blow.

Reaction against these circumstances by those who remained tied to the essence of primitive Christianity led to the emergence of monastery life. In North Africa, where the understanding of primitive Christianity is still strong, one portion of the Christians decided in the second half of the third century to withBiblical Cappadocia Toursdraw from the world and gave themselves over to religious, contemplation and ordeal in secluded corners. After the first monastery was founded on an island in the Upper Nile, this movement rapidly spread to Palestine, Syria, Armenia and Cappadocia to achieve this goal and to return to the new primitive Christianity.

As a result of this never-ending struggle between 1st & 14th C.AD, there have been thousands of churches, monasteries and chaples have been carved into Cappadocian valleys. The system of Monastic settlement under the leadership of St. Basil was maintained in the churches of Soganli, Ihlara, Goreme and Acıksaray Valleys. Cappadocian saints played an important role in the foundation of Orthodoxism and Orhtodox churches which were all adorned with ‘biblical stories’ inspired from ‘Old Testament ‘ and ‘New Testament’.

Art of Cappadocian Churches

 
Two different painting techniques can be observed in Cappadocian churches. The first technique, Red ochrepainting applied directly to bare surface without using plaster or surface coating. In this type of painting seen in churches and chapels of the Early Byzantine era, Maltese Crosss and geometrci and vegetal motifs took a prominent place. In later times, this type of painting was covered with a plaster mixture and painted with themes dedicated to Christian belief.

In the second technique, the painting was done on plaster surface. Two different methods were used. Either the fresco technique was used Biblical Cappadocia Tourson wet plaster or the tempera- or so called ‘ Secco’ was used after the plaster was dried. The topics adorned the interior walls of churches and chapels were from the Bible and The old Testament. First and foremost, the life of Jesus Christ and the Saints were depicted. The immortals were depicted on domes while mortals were depicted on walls, Scene known as ‘ The Deisis’ depicted the trio of Jesus, Mother Mary and John the Baptist, occupy the main apse of the churches.

The topics of the fescoes in Cappadocian churches were generally arrayed in chronological order. Events before Christ and after the birth of Christ ( The journey to Betlehem, the Nativity, The Three wise Kings, Escape to Egypt and so on…). The miracles performed by Jesus ( Healing of the Sick, Raising of Lazarus from the Dead…) and the agony of Christ ( Entry of Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the Last Judgement, Juda’s Betrayal, the Curcifixion).

New Budget Biblical Cappadocia Tours, Promotion 2017 all years

We offer to you our modern, comfortable air - conditioned mini van with driver and services of the licensed English speaking guide! They will pick you up and bring to any of requested sights.
Orthodox Monasteries of Cappadocia tour
Duration / 3 Days - 2 Nights Biblical Cappadocia Tour 
Tour Type :  Regular/Private
   

3 Day Orthodox Monasteries of Cappadocia Tour

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Start City : Cappadocia, Cappadocia Hotels / Cappadocia Airport
End City : Kayseri Airport, Cappadocia
Scheduled / Operates on : Jan 1st 2017 - Dec 31st 20174: Daily
Tour Highlights : Arrival in Kayseri or Cappadocia airport and greeted by your expert local tour guide and private transportation. After a brief introduction of Cappadocia, you will journey back into Christian times with your visits to ‘must see sites’ of Cappadocia including Zelve Open Air Museum.
Price From: $816.00
  • Entrance Fees
  • Vehicle Facilities
  • Licensed / Guide
The Footsteps of Cappadocian Father Saints Tour
Duration / 4 Days - 3 Nights Biblical Cappadocia Tour
Tour Type :  Regular/Private 

4 Day The Footsteps of Cappadocian Father Saints Tour

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Start City : Cappadocia, Cappadocia Hotels / Cappadocia Airport
End City : Kayseri Airport, Cappadocia
Scheduled / Operates on : Jan 1st 2017 - Dec 31st 2017: Daily
Tour Highlights : This tour is suitable for those on a tight standard or time frame who would like to experience Gallipoli, the Anzac Services and a great Turkish adventure, including Gallipoli tour, Down service, all entrance fees, 3 star accommodation, Airport transfer from Istanbul Ataturk Airport and Professional English Speaking Guides who have the insight knowledge and experience to give you the best Anzac Tour money can buy. An Anzac Buffet dinner is also an option available to you.
Price From: $840.00
  • Entrance Fees
  • Vehicle Facilities/Lunch
  • Licensed / Guide
 

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