Long before tourists arrived in Cappadocia, this volcanic region was home to many ancient civilizations—Hittites, Persians, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Seljuks, Ottomans, and now Turks. Their stories are carved into Cappadocia's surreal landscape.
Visitors today wonder about the historical backstory of Cappadocia. We long to know the human story behind the ancient sites. CappadociaHistory.com shares the historical story of Cappadocia for tour guides and curious travelers. We go beyond "What is this?" to ask "Who?" and "Why?" and "How?" Explore the meaning and significance of Cappadocia's famous church, places, and people.
Most information about Cappadocia is either (1) academic research in inaccessible publications, or (2) random trivia on travel agent websites. CappadociaHistory.com strikes a middle ground. We share historical insights for popular audiences and make substantive content accessible and engaging.
So, welcome to the enthralling history of Cappadocia!
I'm Jason Borges. My family moved to Avanos in 2017. I started CappadociaHistory.com in 2019 to share Cappadocia's fascinating history. The website will evolve into a collaborative project with local and global scholars.
In previous seasons, I earned a masters degree early Christian history, initiated business development projects in Kyrgyzstan (see June Cashmere company), and worked as a cultural consultant in America (see my book Navigating Cultures). Currently, I am Ph.D. student at Durham University (U.K.) in theology and religion.
My current interest is researching the theological beliefs of Cappadocian Christians. I ask, "How did these people understand themselves and the world around them?" We have zero texts from the Christians who built the cave churches and monasteries, so we rely upon the architecture and art to discern their theology. In terms of such theological performance, my favorite churches are: Pancarlık, Cross (Haçlı) Church, Buckle (Tokalı) Church, Apple (Elmalı) Church, and Cemetery Church. Cappadocian Christianity is my main focus, but I love exploring all aspects of Cappadocia's amazing history.
If you are traveling to Cappadocia, here are some quick tips for your trip.
Give yourself time. Cappadocia has an endless number of historical and cultural sites. Even after living here for two years, there are many places I have yet to visit. So if possible, plan several days to enjoy the area. And when visiting a site, allow several hours to fully explore its history and surroundings.
Plan your trip. The sites of Cappadocia are spread around, so plan your time. Along with popular guidebooks, the website CaptivatingCappadocia.com has helpful information for planning. For exploring cave churches and hiking valleys, Göreme is ground zero. The towns of Avanos, Ürgüp, and Mustafapasha are pleasant, less touristy options.
Hire a tour guide. All Turkish tour guides are professionally trained, and Turks are always fun people to spend the day with. You can request a CappadociaHistory.com recommended guide, or you can arrange for a tour guide at any travel agent or hotel.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please do email. We'd love to hear from you.
If you are a historian doing research in the area, let me know when you are town so we can connect.