From Cappadocia to the World
Meet the History of Cappadocian Greeks
Our research center is focusing on Cappadocian Greek History. This empowers us about our past and connects the history with today.
We have a large collection of carpets, seals, clothes and many other different precious pieces.
There are books and research materials we achieved so far. You can buy and access our library through our website.
We are constantly organizing cultural events and tours between Nea Karvali and Cappadocia. You can attend our guided tours and listen our history directly from us.
From Cappadocia to the World
Meet the History of Cappadocian Greeks
Cappadocia, the heartland of Asia Minor, is where for centuries the famous Hittie civilization flourished, a civilization abruptly interrupted, which left its marks in archaeological findings and in the area’s huge troglodytic settlements (“inns”). It is the area in which numerous religions and philosophies first appeared, clashed with each other were developed and eventually destroyed.
Christianity began spreading into Europe from Cappadocia after the second tour of Saint Paul. The founding fathers of Christian Church were raised in the troglodytic dwellings so typical of the area. In the Byzantine era the Christian monastic movement reached an advanced stage of development.
We cannot date with certainly the arrival of Hellenic element in Cappadocia. The passage of Alexander the Great through the era left indelible traces of Hellenic civilization. It is the time during which the Hellenic element flourishes.
Under the Ottoman Empire, Cappadocia is a prosperous region, with developed trade. Under conditions both known and unknown many Cappadocians lose their original Hellenic language. Frın some point onwards they write using the Hellenic alphabet in a mixed dialect based on Turkish, which is also spoken, and which is called until today “Caramanlidika”.
Cappadocians were mainly occupied with trade and certain cottage industries. Famous were their rugs and pottery. Their trading activities created a marketplace for products from areas of Asia Minor and Orient. For the past 200 years many Cappadocians emigrated, made fortunes and returned to their homeland.
Religion plated a very important part in the lives of Hellino-Cappadocians, because it was the link which kept them united and which allowed them to preserve their Hellenic spirit under the Ottoman rule. Most of the Great Fathers of the Christian Orthodox Church were born, taught and preached in Cappadocia such as Saint Grigorios Theologos, Saint Vassilios, Saint George, Saint John Rossos, Saint Arsenios, Saint Vlassios and others.
By the spring of 1924 it was certain that the exchange populations between Hellas and Turkey would be carried through. The ill-fated campaign of 1919-22 had already taken place and the Hellenic population of Asia Minor had to begin the journey to the new homeland.
They collected their holiest, most valuable possessions; the relics from the churches, the holy icons, as well as the valuables from their homes, anything that could be carried.
In August 1924, they began the long journey of no return. Some though the port of Mersin, others from the coast, they reached to their new homeland, mainland Hellas, which showed itself sometimes hospitable but again, sometimes not.
Their new lives, began in tents. Many died. The refugee population was decimated by disease and hardship.
Slowly they became accustomed to the new conditions, built beautiful homes and villages and created a new society, keeping their Cappadocian soul deeply hidden in themselves.
Together with thousands of other refugees from Cappadocia, the inhabitants of Karvali arrived outside the city of Kavala, Macedonia, where in 1925 they established their community, creating a purely Cappadocian village called New (New) Karvali.
In 1981 the youngest people of the village, following in the footsteps od older clubs, especially those of the Educational Brotherhood of “Nazianzos”, which had existed since 1884 in Constantinople, founded the “Stegi Politismou Neas Karvalis”, with various activities, whose main aim is the cultural development and the improvement in the lives of Karvaliotes.
One of their first tasks was to collect as many items from the past as possible, a past whose traces had already begun to fade with the passing of time. However, the Cappadocian character of the people had not faded. They therefore tried to preserve the historical and religious remnants of their birthplace in order to bring to light the creations and cultural achievements of Cappadocia.
They begun by putting together a large number of objects, documents, books, photographs, holy icons, and traditional costumes and in 1989 they placed the foundation stone of the Historical and Ethnological Museum of the Hellenic Cappadocian Civilization, which was completed and inaugurated on March 26, 1995.
In this museum a whole way of life of the past is preserved.
Heavily encrusted Cappadocian costumes, called “Tsouchades”, that came from monastery workshops, where monks embroidered them with wire or cord, marking the traces of Byzantium. Rugs of the famous Cappadocian school, decorated with leaves and lions. Cappadocian ceramic pots, called “Lik – Lik”, used for water, painted with designs used since ancient times. Holy icons, jewelry and embroidered articles are some of the other art exhibits of the museum, as well as a rare ceramic piece, depicting the struggle of Good versus Evil, which shows the path Cappadocians followed from idolatry to Christianity.
In the museum, there is also exhibited a rare collection of books from all the printing houses known back then, such as the Patriarchal Printing House of Constantinople, and printing houses of Venice, Jerusalem, Smyrna, Moscow, Alexandria. There are books of the 18th and 19th century, as well as of the 14th and 15th.
In the Historical Archive of the Museum there are kept hundreds of documents which record the steps of Cappadocians from the past until today.
The museum is housed in a modern building in the center of the village, just behind the church of St. Gregory, where the relics of St. Gregory the Theologian from Nazianzos are kept.
In 1997 he was honored by the European Union with the title “Museum of the Year”. It offers educational programs to school-age children with the main theme of the carpet and its construction. With the donation of the benefactor Kaplanidou – Drymalas Eleni begins the construction of the “Kaplanideio Guesthouse” where all the friends of Nea Karvali, the scholars of the Historical Archive as well as the patriots of the diaspora can be accommodated. There will also be the possibility to feed all our suffering fellow human beings and enjoy cappadocian care for those who wish to do so.
The museum is a living cell which houses a part of Hellenic – Cappadocian Civilization. “Stegi Politismou Neas Karvalis”, The Cultural Association of Nea Karvali, in its search for ways to unite the forces of all the Cappadocian clubs in Hellas, created the Centre for Cappadocian Studies, whose aim is to search for and collect evidence of the Cappadocian civilization, as well as to show it to the whole world so that the creative spirit of Cappadocia survives and flourishes in today’s societies.
YEARS OF WORK
Some thoughts from people visited out center.
Very good with ancient objects.
- Bouz A.
It is worth to go.
- Nikos K.
The museum has a magnificent collection. You can see a real heritage inside. Definitely worth it.