By Horse Through the Volcanic Valleys

Cappadocia, ‘Land of the Beautiful Horse’, was once famous for the fine steeds that bore its valiant knights. Few horses are left, but they can still transport you into another world. The photographer Jürgen Frank captures the eerie magic of the Anatolian plateau, Susan Wirth is exhilarated by five days in the saddle and David Barchard guides us through the epic landscape.

A Canter Through Cappadocia
Susan Wirth spends five days in the saddle in the Land of the Beautiful Horse
The ancient name for Cappadocia is “Katpatuka”, which is believed to mean “Land of the Beautiful Horse”. As this region of central Anatolia is not known for its equine tradition, this is surprising. So how did the name come about?

The most plausible theory is that it derives from the days when the Persians, who controlled the region in the sixth century BC, collected tributes from the local inhabitants in the form of horses. True or not, I can confirm that the concept has proved a potent marketing tool. Two thousand years later, as an insatiable horse enthusiast, I could not refrain from conjuring up dramatic images of wild steeds roaming the regions volcanic valleys.

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Issue 35, 2006 Istanbul Elegy
£50.00 / $64.21 / 342.36 TL
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Good places to stay
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Issue 35, 2006 Istanbul Elegy
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