In central Turkey, this place looks like a scene out of one of those strange desert Star Wars planets. I’m pretty sure Jabba the Hut may have grown up in Cappadocia.
The limestone in this region is easily carveable, and thus over thousands of years people created rooms, houses, churches, etc in the sides of these hills and mountains. It was one of the best ways to escape the hot summer climate. When taken with the many natural chimney rock formations and the array of reds, yellows, and whites, it becomes quite a spectacle.
There are also underground cities here that are massive. The cities were built over the course of 5,000 years by many civilizations, starting with Hittites then Assyrians, and changing frequently until the Romans in the 300s, then Turks starting sometime in the 1000s.
Nobody lived in the underground cities, rather, they were built as a place to retreat to during invasions, and could hold over 25,000 people! The city we visited had 7 levels, all of which were added gradually over the course of the 5,000 years, and aside from rooms to live in there are also churches, wineries, stables, and even a 9 km tunnel to the neighboring town. However, hardly the place for the claustrophobic or Shaq sized basketball player.
Hallways in an underground city:
Just outside Goreme:
Hot air balloon's fill the sky every day at sunrise. Amazing: