The natural formations of Cappadocia are one of the most surprising and odd accidents of nature in all the world.
Zelve is just one of the few small towns where you can admire the ingenious use by men of the natural opportunities.
The fanciful figures resemble stone fields of giant mushrooms to children. Something like giant morels or fly-agarics, do you agree? They are inescapably phallic to adults. You don't agree? It’s up to you to decide, haha! I think it depends of mood and weather. The Turks call them Peri Bacalari: fairy chimneys (see my GT about Fairy Chimneys).
You may watch my high resolution photo of Pasabagi on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 40' 36.60" N 34° 51' 26.13" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Pasabagi fairy chimneys 4 .
The Pasabagi valley is famous for its three-headed fairy chimneys. It’s possible to see all the stages in the formation of fairy chimneys at this spot.
Christian hermits chose to locate hermit cells and churches in these three-headed pinnacles symbolic of the Holy Trinity. One of them is kept till nowadays - Simeon Stylites.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Pasabagi on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 40' 36.72" N 34° 51' 22.42" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Pasabagi fairy chimneys 3 .
Devrent Valley hides many different rock formations. There is even a rock pillar which looks like Virgin Mary, holding Jesus Christ.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Devrent Valley on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 40' 23.30" N 34° 53' 5.74" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Madonna fairy chimney .
The valley also has many animal shaped rocks. It looks like a sculpture zoo made by nature. Some of the most easily seen animal shapes are camel, snake, seals, and dolphin. If you run your imagination you will find many others.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Devrent Valley on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 40' 21.76" N 34° 53' 6.05" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Camel fairy chimney .
Devrent Valley is also known as Pink Valley because of the color of the rocks there.
Actually the valley was never inhabited. So what makes it so attractive? Of cause the famous lunar landscape!
The small fairy chimneys in the valley form a lunar landscape, or moonscape, by their strange look.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Devrent Valley on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 40' 23.45" N 34° 53' 7.32" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio fairy chimneys 2 .
Devrent Valley is also known as Imaginary Valley. And you will see what you are ready and want to see… It depends on many reasons such like your mood at the moment. I suggest you two video clips with different music – what you like best Tchaikovsky with Barcarola or Turkish pop music?
You can watch my 5 min 20 sec Video clip Zelve Devrent Valley Slide-show 2 with Tchaikovsky – Barcarola out of my Youtube channel
You can also watch my 4 min 06 sec Video clip Zelve Devrent Valley Slide-show with Turkish pop music by Kenan Dogulu – Demedi Deme musik.
This valley is called "Devrent" in vernacular for the most surreal-looking landscape in Cappadocia. Thousands of years of wind, rain and extreme temperature changes created the beautifully colored rocks into strange and wonderful animal and human shapes. It is very appropriate for examining rock formations and the fairy chimneys. This valley has never been inhabited and you will see neither houses nor churches here.
You can see my 44 high resolution photos about the Devrent valley Turkey Cappadocia Devrent Valley out of my Webshot page.
In Seljuk and Ottoman times it was called "Papaz'in Bagi" or "The Monk’s Vineyard". Several formations resemble dervishes in their high brown hats.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Pasabagi on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 40' 37.08" N 34° 51' 16.86" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Pasabagi fairy chimneys 2.
You can watch my 2 min 31 sec Video clip Pasabagi with Tchaikovsky - Autumn song out of my Youtube channel.
Another name of Pasabagi is the Pasha’s Vineyard. It received this name after the Byzantine Greek population left the region.
You may watch my high resolution photo of Pasabagi on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 38° 40' 37.32" N 34° 51' 24.43" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Pasabagi fairy chimneys 1 .
You can watch my 3 min 57 sec Video clip Zelve Pasabagi Valley Slide-show 2 with Vivaldi musik out of my Youtube channel.
Zelve is famous for its fairy chimneys which are formed when the lava covering the tuff is eroded, leaving pinnacle formations. These pinnacles are capped with harder rocks resting at the top. This is in Pasabagi which is located at a distance 1 km from Zelve.
You can see my 36 high resolution photos about the Pasabagi valley Turkey Cappadocia Pasabagi out of my Webshot page.
You can watch my 3 min 16 sec Video clip Zelve Pasabagi Valley Slide-show with Turkish pop music by Murat Basaran – Yetti Gari - out of my Youtube channel.
While I was more interested in the geology (and the rocky playground) than the culture of the place, Zelve is no doubt a place with a long and interesting history. Between the 9th and 13th centuries it was a monastic retreat and if you're on a tight schedule, I'd recommend checking out two churches that are easy to find near the parking lot and entrance. The Balikli Kilise, or Fish Church and the Uzumlu Kilise, or Grape Church, are probably the most interesting and most easily accessed. The fish church has a fish motif in its ancient paintings and the grape church still has bunches of grapes painted on the walls.
It's also fun to climb around in some of the dwellings that have hand and foot-holds carved into the rock and allow the adventurous to climb up into the higher parts of the rocks.
The Zelve Open Air Museum is not as popular as then one in Goreme for some good reasons. The Goreme Open Air Museum is located just up the road from the very popular Goreme Village, which is a great base from travelers. Also, Goreme's cave dwellings include more impressive frescoes and is a bit more intact than Zelve. However, with the popularity comes the crowds, so it's nice to visit Zelve and to be able to explore sans the crush of the tourist buses. Granted, you won't have the place to yourself, but you should have plenty of space to explore at your leisure.
The fairy chimneys here are some of the biggest and most perfectly shaped in all of Cappadocia, but people still come here to explore the chapels and medieval oratories that line the valley. Zelve is now a deserted monastery complex with churches that date to before the ninth century and which were inhabited until 1952 when the government deemed the area unsafe because of the constant crumbling and falling of the soft rocks. It's easy to see why when you look at some of the fairy chimneys with massive basalt tops and skinny bases that look as if they'll topple over at any moment. Some areas might be blocked off because of the danger of falling rocks, a common occurrence here.