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Taşkale – First Stop Next to Cappadocia

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Taşkale – im Vorhof von Kappadokien?

We are on the road from Karaman to Eregli on country road 350 as we turn to the right to direction Taşkale, a lovely nice little village in picturesque valley which belongs to Karaman about 40 kilometres away from the city.

First we follow a very bendy, narrow road until a Roman bridge which is still being used by the traffic. Little later the landscape is changing, the mountains to the right and to the left are getting higher and more and more we notice that we are driving in an ancient river bed being washed out during thousands of years. Now, in late spring, just a little creek we can imagine the height of the water in times of melting snow from branches and dirt in the trees next to the creek.  

Certainly on the left hand side of the road we see a couple of caves next to the top of the mountain, which similar to those in Cappadocia seem to be man made. High in the mountains they offered enough protection for Christian people while escaping from their Roman followers. Just the research in the caves would need couple of hours, time we do not have at this point. The town had been used by the early Christians who used the caves as effective sheltering against the Roman authority. The Mamazan Monastery (Ibrala Manastir) just to the west of the town is also a cave monastery. After Christianity was legalized the town probably lost its importance. 

But in the 13th century the town regained its importance as a hideaway. During Mongol expansion a Turkmen tribe named Kızıl from the valley of along Atrek River (modern Turkmenistan) migrated to Taşkale. According to an unverified claim, the paternal side of Atatürk (founder of Modern Turkey) was also a member of Kızıl tribe.

We continue the road into the town centre, accompanied by really old farm houses, which alone a worth enough doing the trip. Lot of different hand crafts at the buildings mean more surprises will follow little later. And so we were not really surprised that much any more, as we arrived at the centre, to find a huge rock to the left of the place showing lots of small caves all closed with handy wooden doors. As we couldn’t see any stairs or even any ladder we asked a passing elderly person who the people could reach the caves which obviously were used to store things. His answer came quick and spontaneously: Just a moment! And before we couldn’t even say a word he had climbed couple of metres already and was explaining the ingredients inside the caves. We were not really feeling very comfortable that we forced the chap to climb and asked him to return immediately. But he, like a cat, was climbing higher and higher, from cave to cave. Even the height was not frightening him. 


We all felt much better as he returned back to earth little later save and we could continue our discussion. Because the rocks have nearly same cool temperature summer and winter, the caves are quite good, like cellar rooms to keep corns, fruit and other foods without using fridge of cooling machines.

For most visible places we have added one more cross into our map meaning Taşkale we will come again. Next to the old farm houses, the storage caves in the rocks and the caves for living in ancient times there should be an interesting cave, we haven´t seen so far. WE will have couple of days in June in Karaman, so we can easily come again to spend some more time in Taşkale.

Please read as well:

Cappadocia´s handicrafts and pottery centre in Avanos

Rose Valley next to Ürgüp in Cappadocia

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