Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia

If you are saying it’s time to buy gifts during your visit to Cappadocia and you’re in or planning to come to Nevşehir, one of the most beautiful and original items you can buy as a souvenir from Nevşehir is roasted pumpkin seeds. When buying gifts for others, we recommend getting some for yourself as well. Nevşehir is the leading city in pumpkin seed production in Turkey, adding different flavors with its unique roasting methods.

What are Fairy Chimneys?

The Fairy Chimneys are formed by the erosion of tuff structures due to wind, rain, and floodwaters. These formations, shaped like towers, also have rocks on their tops. The question of “Where are the Fairy Chimneys?” is often asked. The fairy Chimneys are located in Cappadocia. They are one of the most significant formations that make this region unique. Transforming the area into a visual spectacle, these structures are visited by numerous people every year. Both local and foreign tourists flock to the region to witness these captivating formations.

How Did Fairy Chimneys Form?

The fairy chimneys in the Cappadocia region have become a subject of curiosity for many, leading to questions about their formation. These formations, which offer a visual feast in Cappadocia, were created as a result of natural events. Active volcanoes in geological times revealed these formations. About 60 million years ago, during the 3rd geological period, the rise of the Taurus mountains, caused by the compression of the Anatolian fault in the north, activated the volcanoes in the region. Mountains like Erciyes, Güllüdağ, and Hasandağ, with their snowy structures, were active volcanoes that erupted about 10 million years ago. Cappadocia was an inland sea during that period, as indicated by the presence of fossilized marine creatures in archaeological excavations.

Volcanic activity started 10 million years ago with the Upper Miocene and continued erupting until about 2 million years ago in the Pliocene. The volcanoes descended to the plateaus, drying up the inland sea, lakes, and rivers. A layer of tuff, about 100-150 meters thick, formed on the dried surface. This layer consists of volcanic ash, clay, sandstone, clay, and basalt. In some areas, rocks are hard, while in others, they are soft enough to be carved. Over time, this layer has undergone changes due to factors such as rivers and wind. Descending from the slopes of the valleys, floods, the Kızılırmak River, and wind have brought about this transformation. Due to the scarcity of vegetation and the impermeability of the tuff layers, floods have intensified, persistently trying to carve a path between hard rocks. The hard rocks have cracked and split under the force of raging waters, leaving behind valleys with deep undulations. Nature’s artistry on this terrain is seen in this way. The Fairy Chimneys, created by natural forces and unique in the world, are always a focal point of interest for their exceptional formation.

History of Fairy Chimneys

Those curious about the formation of fairy chimneys can examine their history. The boundaries of Cappadocia were first drawn during the Roman Antiquity and mapped by the geographer Strabo, who lived within the Roman Ancient Period. These boundaries extend south to the Taurus mountains, north to the coastline of the Eastern Black Sea, west to Aksaray, and east to Malatya. The history of fairy chimneys covers a vast area, and the region, known as Cappadocia today, includes the provinces of Aksaray, Niğde, Nevşehir, Kırşehir, and Kayseri.

The history of fairy chimneys can also be referred to as the history of Cappadocia. Cappadocia has witnessed various civilizations from the formation of fairy chimneys to the present day. They are the natural buildings of the region, and the interiors of fairy chimneys began to be carved during the Paleolithic period when the first human settlements occurred. After the era of the Hittites, in the 3rd century, they were created for the first Christians to freely practice their beliefs. Fairy Chimneys were designed as places where individuals could perform their worship and sustain their lives. Until the arrival of the Seljuks in the 11th and 12th centuries, Cappadocia experienced many different resistances and invasions.

Due to their structure of tuff, fairy chimneys have been gradually carved and expanded over each period. Some of them, even used as churches, had frescoes painted on their interiors, depicting the stories of that era. Due to its unique structure and historical texture, Fairy chimneys are now visited by people in large numbers. They are chosen for various holidays, including honeymoons, due to their distinctive features and historical significance.

Fairy Chimneys Story

The Fairy Chimneys have a legend and story. A long time ago, in Göreme, there lived a hardworking villager who, in the twilight of his life, wanted to go to his field early during harvest time. However, due to his weakened strength, he collapsed at the base of a fairy chimney. He lamented that the wind and birds could destroy his efforts while also expressing regret. While saddened and crying, he saw many fairies inside the Fairy Chimneys carrying torches. The fairies had harvested and transported the crops from the old man’s field to the storage sheds.

They completed the work before dawn and then disappeared. The old man initially thought he had dreamed it, but it turned out to be a reward for his years of hard work. Since that day, fairies always came to his aid in all his tasks. Although the other villagers wondered how an old man with a weak back and legs could complete all his work, they never learned the truth. One day, the old man died with his secret, but the Fairy Chimneys, in their silence, always kept this secret hidden.

How to Go to Fairy Chimneys?

Individuals who wish to visit Fairy Chimneys are researching directions for Fairy Chimneys. After reaching Nevşehir, it is possible to reach the Cappadocia region with buses departing from the city center. For those coming by private vehicles, there are easy directions from Istanbul to Cappadocia. First, one should reach Ankara and then proceed through the directions of Kırıkkale, Kırşehir, and Nevşehir. This way, it is possible to reach the region through a very short route. There are many tours organized with a guide. With the fairy chimneys tour, you can both explore and obtain detailed information about its history.

Fairy Chimneys Tours

There are numerous activities to be done in fairy chimneys. Therefore, individuals can accomplish each activity in the region with the existing tours. With guided tours, Fairy Chimneys can be explored in an organized manner without wasting time, and all possible activities can be experienced. Participating in daily tours allows individuals to gain detailed information from professional guides. Additionally, there is an option to join the fairy chimneys ATV tour. These tours offer the opportunity to explore the valleys in Cappadocia with ATV rides.


Where are the Fairy Chimneys? (In Which City?)

Although Fairy Chimneys are often associated with Cappadocia, they are actually located in Nevşehir, within the region of Cappadocia. They are predominantly found in the towns of Göreme and Ürgüp in Nevşehir. If you are planning a Cappadocia trip to specifically see the Fairy Chimneys, you might consider staying in Göreme or Ürgüp. These towns are both close to Nevşehir and its districts and offer convenient access to exploring the surrounding areas either by private car or public transportation.

Can You See Fairy Chimneys?

There are fairy chimneys in Goreme. However, it is not only in Göreme. Ürgüp is also very rich in terms of fairy chimneys.
In Göreme; It would be unfair to limit it only to fairy chimneys. The region is also very rich in terms of history. The churches in the Göreme Open Air Museum have successfully transferred the traces of the ancient civilizations living in the region until today. You can also take pictures on the hills and visit the valleys.

Where Does the Name of Fairy Chimneys Come From?

The awe-inspiring postures of the fairy chimneys and their emergence without human intervention have given rise to various legends. One of these legends is the reason behind calling these structures fairy chimneys.
In ancient times, people used to live in Cappadocia. While these people were leading happy lives, malicious giants arrived in the region. These giants lived in the mountains and frightened people by raining fire upon them. Faced with this fear, the path of the Fairy Emperor led to the region. He sympathized with the people’s plight and wanted to help them.
The Fairy Emperor set all the fairies into action. They responded to the giants’ fire arrows with ice and snow. As a result, the fire in the region was extinguished, and the giants retreated to the mountains. Consequently, a friendship that has lasted for thousands of years began between humans and fairies. In honor of this friendship, the structures that formed were named fairy chimneys.

Are Nevşehir Fairy Chimneys Historical Artifacts?

Tourists visiting the fairy chimneys may wonder whether these structures are historical artifacts. However, for a structure to be considered a historical artifact, it must have been built by humans in ancient times. Naturally formed structures cannot be classified as historical artifacts. Therefore, we can describe fairy chimneys as natural beauties rather than historical monuments.

Are Fairy Chimneys Natural?

Yes, the fairy chimneys formed entirely naturally. Millions of years ago, the Cappadocia region was covered with water. However, the volcanoes in the area became active. Over the course of many years, these active mountains caused the water in the region to recede. The structures formed after the volcanoes became dormant were shaped by erosion and rivers. Thus, the fairy chimneys, a rare sight in the world, were created in Cappadocia.

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Cappadocia fairy chimney

Fairy Chimneys Cappadocia Photos

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