Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia (1985)
Turkey

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In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. Dwellings, troglodyte villages and underground towns – the remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century – can also be seen there. 

Turkey 1959. Tourism Göreme National Park. Turkey 1977. Europa Stamp. Göreme National Park. Turkey 1984. UNESCO-stamp. Göreme National Park.

History's most famous Cappadocian is beyond any doubt Saint George, who was born in Cappadocia (in eastern Asia Minor) and died about 303 as a Christian Martyr. His life is obscured by legend, but his martyrdom at Lydda, Palestine, is generally considered a matter of historical fact, testified to by two early Syrian church inscriptions and by a canon of Pope Gelasius I, dated 494, in which St. George is mentioned as one whose name was held in reverence. 

The Vatican 2003. St. George's 17th death centenary.

The most popular of the legends that have grown up around him relates his encounter with the dragon. A pagan town in Lydda was victimized by a dragon (representing the devil), which the inhabitants first attempted to calm down by offerings of sheep, and then by the sacrifice of various members of their community. The daughter of the king (representing the Church) was chosen by lot and was taken out to await the coming of the monster, but George arrived, killed the dragon, and converted the community to Christianity. Saint George has been adapted world wide as the saint fighting the evil and defending the good, in the end slaying the dragon (representing the evil). 
  • The Vatican 2003.  St. George, commemorating the 17th century of his death, issued in the 25th anniversary of the Pontificate of John Paul II.  The stamp was engraved by the Swedish master engraver, Czeslaw Slania. 

Not only is St. George the patron saint of Great Britain and the Scouts world wide; he is also the patron saint of Bulgaria, and Moscow in Russia, as well as of a number of other places. St. George has been honoured on stamps by countries representing the Orthodox Christian faith, the Roman Catholic faith, and the Muslim faith. Follow the link immediately below, and see some stunning stamps of St. George from all parts of the world. 

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Turkey (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Turkey for further information about the individual properties.  

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
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