Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cappadocia 2 of 3

In the last post, I showed above-ground caves.  What I think is really special about Cappadocia is the underground caves.  These are caves up to 4000 years old that people have dug into the ground, to live in for various periods of time, to hide and escape persecution, complete with wine cellars, ventilation shafts that hide smoke from the surface, many different levels, and connections to other caves.
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Our first cave was Kaymakli (sp?), which was built for about 5000 people (!!!!), and is ~9 stories deep, though we only went 4 stories underground (about 40 meters).  Apparently this cave is linked via underground tunnel to another large (3k ppl) cave about 7km away!
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The caves have stairways and rooms, just like a normal house.
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Little cubby holes abound, as bedrooms, food/wine storage areas, etc.
Here’s the view down a ventilation shaft (note the indentations for climbing):
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And the view up the ventilation shaft, toward the surface (note that you can’t see any daylight, this is due to the complex exit for smoke (so your position isn’t given away)).
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Lots of areas have openings that seem dangerous, and some of the narrow passageways were designed this way.  Inhabitants could drop stones from above the passageway on intruders, there are large stone doors that can be rolled into place (only accessible from the inside), etc.
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Here’s our hotel room in a cave!