Ever since we moved to Cappadocia I have been intrigued by the stone shapes on the hills above the Avanos – Nevşehir road.
Title: The Gift. Given that the word Cappadocia supposedly comes from the Persian word, Katpatuka, which means “land of beautiful horses”, this equine figure makes sense as the most prominent piece. Click here to see an aerial view.
I had read a bit about the pillars, arches, and forms that I can see even from our house in Çavuşin, but we had not visited them.
We solved that on the first day of fall 2012 and were surprised at what we found when we got up close and personal.
If you are visiting Cappadocia and want to see something UNnaturally unique, rent a scooter or car and head up the hill.
The area is quite vast and provided great exercise and fun exploration for the kids. The most surprising part was thinking there were three objects and finding out that there are at least five (two cannot be seen from the road) and maybe six (my internet research showed one that we did not find). But finding the figures did not always help as we puzzled for quite a while as to what each one was. An aerial view makes a big difference!
Title: Grind. This appears to be a ceramic pot with lid. You can see it more clearly from an aerial view.
Most people have seen the gigantic horse covering one hillside and the odd stone pillars rimming the top of the hill, but the sizes are hard to judge from a distance. We were surprised to realize that each figure is made with a 3 or 4 foot wall of rocks put together like a puzzle (no cement).
6 year old Kaylie standing on the wall gives a good perspective of the size and note that nothing holds the rocks together.
Apparently Andrew Rogers employed thousands of locals in putting the shapes together and some of the rocks seem to have been cut out of the hill itself. The arches have words inscribed in English and Turkish that should inspire the best in people. Only the artist could tell you why he put them up where nobody could see them.
Title: Strength. Even with a good aerial view, I have no idea what this is supposed to be.
Rogers, an Australian, has built these figures in 16 countries including Antarctica and receives surprisingly little attention for what he has done. I think these works are appropriate for Cappadocia. It is only fitting that a place with so many strange natural attractions should have a few man-made oddities as well.
You can read more about him and his work and see more pictures here and here.
Is this the kind of thing you would want to see when you visit Cappadocia?
Title: Rhythms of Life. Rogers does this design (carved into the stone below) everywhere he goes. Click to see the cool aerial view.
Title: Siren. Apparently this is Rogers’ interpretation of the mythical creatures. I can assure you that their power has wained as very few people are drawn up the hill to see them! The aerial view shows it more clearly.
The 22 positive character traits chiseled on these rocks (I may have missed some) should inspire us to live better lives while looking out over the beautiful Cappadocian landscape with its storied history. You will have to be the judge of their effectiveness.
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