This valley is one of the most picturesque corners of Cappadocia. Because of the dilapidated condition of the rocks, a New Zelve had to be set up nearby in 1952.
The old Zelve village was carved in a narrow valley in the steep mountains, in rocks. Once, the village served as a hiding place and was an important church and cloister centre. This village (old Zelve) was almost totally destroyed, but the remains can be visited today.
The most important churches are" Uzumlu kilise (Church-with-Grapes) and Geyikli kilise (Church-with-Deer). In these churches mostly cross motifs were used.
Near Zelve lies the vineyard of Pasabag, which is called Monks' Valley. The name was derived from some cones carved in tuff stones which stand apart. Some of them split into smaller cones in their upper sections, in which stylites and hermits once hid. The hermitage of Simeon monks was also here.
Avanos is situated along both sides of the Kizilirmak (Halys), the longest river in Turkey (1,335km). In the past this small town was called Vanessa, and it is famous for its pottery made of the local red clay. The most important industries apart from pottery are hand-knotted carpets and viniculture.
Potter in Avanos
Urgup lies at the foot of steep rocks, which were once thoroughly inundated by people making their homes in them. The highest homes were later deserted, and the others now serve as sheds. According to 10th century documents, Urgup was the bishops' residence of the Middle Ages. The route Urgup-Ortahisar is a picturesque corner with innumerable rock-pyramids partly grouped together and partly with tuff caps.
Rock Formation of Urgup
This place also lies at the foot of a rock-block shape with a lot of rock-hollows. The first inhabitants of the village probably lived in these hollows, which are used as storerooms nowadays. In the area near Cambazli Church there is a cross-domed chapel and Harim Church, which is now used as a shed for equipment.
American Buddha Librarian's Comments:
Casa Battlo, "Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect," by Juan Bassegoda Nonell, photography by Melba Levick