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Cappadocia (pronounced /kæpəˈdoʊʃə/; also Capadocia; Turkish Kapadokya, from Greek: Καππαδοκία / Kappadokía, Armenian: Կապադովկիա, Persian: کاپادوکیه - "Land of Beautiful Houses") is a region in central Turkey, largely in Nevşehir Province.

The name was traditionally used in Christian sources throughout history and is still widely used as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage. The term, as used in tourism, roughly corresponds to present-day Nevşehir Province.

In the time of Herodotus, the Cappadocians were reported as occupying the whole region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine (Black Sea). Cappadocia, in this sense, was bounded in the south by the chain of the Taurus Mountains that separate it from Cilicia, to the east by the upper Euphrates and the Armenian Highland, to the north by Pontus, and to the west by Lycaonia and eastern Galatia.[1]



The earliest record of the name of Cappadocia dates from the late 6th century BC, when it appears in the trilingual inscriptions of two early Achaemenid kings, Darius I and Xerxes, as one of the countries (Old Persian dahyu-) of the Persian Empire. In these lists of countries, the Old Persian name is Katpatuka, clearly not a native Persian name. The Elamite and Akkadian language versions of the inscriptions contain a similar name from Akkadian katpa "side" (cf. Heb katef) and a chief or ancestor's name, Tuka.[2]

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