Fairy Chimneys are landforms that appear both in Turkey and around the world. The reason why this place is so well known around the world is that the ones in Turkey are spread over a very large area. This geological structure spread throughout Cappadocia has made it easier for people to build underground cities.
There are many natural factors in the formation of Fairy Chimneys. This special geography was formed by the eruptions of calderas, which are active volcanic mechanisms that took place ten million years ago. The lava from the volcanoes forms the tuff layer on the plateaus, lakes and rivers. Today's magnificent Fairy Chimneys are formed as a result of the erosion of this tuff layer by rivers, lakes and wind, especially the Kızılırmak River.
The Fairy Chimneys around Paşabağı in Cappadocia are considered to be the most prominent examples here. The fact that the examples here are conical, hat-shaped, mushroom-shaped, columnar and pointed rock forms is also an important factor.
People have also built underground cities in the Fairy Chimneys. While people used these natural formations as a place of surveillance and shelter in ancient times, they carved churches into them during the spread of Christianity. In Roman times, this place was used as a tomb.
The houses carved into the rocks here also served as shelters for Christians fleeing the oppression of the Roman Empire. In the 6th and 7th centuries, underground cities such as Derinkuyu, Kaymaklı, Mazı, Özkonak and Doğala became shelters against Arab raids.
The tradition of living inside the rocks in Cappadocia in today's sense does not date back that far. In the 19th century, the tradition of living in these natural formations developed here. There are nearly 150 underground cities in Cappadocia. While 36 of them are underground cities in today's sense, the others are small enough to accommodate a few families.