The First and Only Geopark Area of Turkey, Burnt Country “Kula” (Katakekaumene)
Kula district of Manisa city is a place known for its historical houses and structures. Located on the Izmir-Ankara road, on the border of modern cities Manisa and Usak, the district is located in a region with volcanic features. This region was called as Katakekaumene in ancient times. “Katakekaumene”, which means “Burnt Country”, is mentioned in the writings of the famous historian and geographer “Strabon”.
Kula and its vicinity is the area where the youngest volcanoes are located in Turkey. During the periods when volcanoes were active, volcanic eruptions at many points of the region and lava emerging from underground formed the surface of the region. There are burnt lands at many points around Kula.That’s why Kula has been called as “Burnt Country” for centuries. Volcanic activity that started one million years ago gave the land its final shape with the last eruption which was 10 thousand years ago.
Since the land formed by the lava is not soil, the vegetation has not formed, and a black cover has emerged for miles. The areas created by the volcanic formations are called the “Kula Geopark”.
Due to the geological richness of this region, the Kula Geopark was declared a member of the Unesco Geoparks Network on September 4, 2013. This geopark area is the first and only geopark area of Turkey and covers an area of 300 square kilometers. There are many walking areas in the geopark to be able to visit it comfortably. It is possible to see the lands formed thousands of years ago in the Geopark and touch the lava remains. More than 100,000 people visit the Kula Geopark in a year.
Kula is also one of the most important districts in terms of historical heritage with its historical wooden houses, narrow stone-paved streets and pit fountains.
When you first enter Kula city center, many historical houses and buildings take your attention. Kula houses, which have the characteristics of Ottoman civil architects, were built in the 18th and 19th centuries.In the district, currently, 800 historic old Kula Houses are under the protection and there are nearly 3000 old Kula houses in total. They have been taken under protection within the scope of the urban site area.
Kula Fairy Chimneys (Kuladokya).
Of course, Kula is not limited with its geopark area and historical houses. Kula fairy chimneys are as impressive as the Geopark area and Kula old houses. The fairy chimney formations here are the largest fairy chimney formation area after Cappadocia and Afyonkarahisar’s Iscehisar district. For this reason, it is called as “Kuladokya” among the local people. With the aim of protecting the fairy chimneys, this area has been declared a natural protected area.
A mysterious characteristic Kula Fairy Chimneys, one of nature’s wonder are located on the 156. km of the Izmir-Ankara Highway and 16 km away from Kula around Burgaz Village. These natural formations were formed by the effects of rain water, temperature changes, wind and erosion. This process is still going on. While the fairy chimneys that have completed their life and cannot withstand the power of nature are demolished, new ones are born on the other hand. Everything is happening so fast that you can come here at short intervals and witness the change of the earth. The fairy chimneys,which isolate people from time ,presents a visual feast and a glorious landscape show.
So now you may add this place to your travel list. Come and see “Burned Country Kula”, be a guest and experience an unforgettable trip here.Travel is a therapy.