Paşabağ (Valley of the Monks)
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The Mushroom Shaped Fairy Chimneys
It’s amazing to think that located in the heart of the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia is an area that local residents consider to be even more out of this world. This is Paşabağ ("Pah-shah-bah") which is known in English as the Valley of the Monks. Paşabağ means "Pasha’s Vineyard", a name it received after the Byzantine Greek population left the region which is located in the middle of a vineyard. As you wander Paşabağ, there will be vineyards in sight. Paşabağ contains some of the most striking fairy chimneys in Cappadocia with twin and even triple rock caps - formations that are unique even for Cappadocia! Locals refer to them as the mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys. Like the cave hotels in modern day Cappadocia, the fairy chimneys of Paşabağ harbor a number of cave dwellings as well as chapels once used by Christian hermits, the most prominent of which is a tri-level chapel dedicated to St. Simeon (Simon) and a hermit’s shelter, built into one of the fairy chimneys with three conical heads. Paşabağ is located just a few kilometers outside of the village of Göreme and just a handful of kilometers further from the town of Ürgüp. Visiting Paşabağ will only take you about a half hour so consider combining it with visiting the Zelve Open Air Museum, Devrent Valley, and Avanos and you have a full day of wonderful sightseeing in Cappadocia! There are tour companies that will be glad to take you around but you can also just hire a taxi to take you to all four places.
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