Cappadocia Palace Hotel

Dutlu Camii Mah Dar Sokak No. 3, Urgup, Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia Palace
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97%

Satisfaction Excellent
Excellent
58%
145
Very Good
33%
83
Average
6%
16
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1
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2

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  • Solo94
  • Business100

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Travel Tips for Urgup

Crater Lake

by ozalp

We found this beauty on the way to Ihlara. We were going there from Derinkuyu and saw the sign. It has a beautiful color, don’t you think? This is the first Crater Lake that I saw. Since I am very curious about seeing an active volcano, I impressed by seeing an inactive one.

It is a small lake and you can drive around it. The road was not very comfortable but it is better. So, it is very well preserved. You can listen to the frogs here for a while. Also you can encounter people, because there were some orchards here.

Since the sun was above us, the water was so tempting. But I couldn’t have the courage.

(I couldn't find a place to take the photograph of whole lake so the photo is panoramic. I recommend you to click on it.)

Karanlik Kilise

by ozalp

This church has been built in 13th century and has many well protected frescoes on the walls. Its windows do not allow too much light to enter inside so the colors are vivacious. Also the name refers its darkness. “Karanlik Kilise” means “Dark Church”. Although it is inside the Open Air Museum, you have to pay extra fee (5ytl during our visit) to enter. I recommend you to see these newly renovated frescoes, it is worth the money. They are beautiful and in good condition because of church’s darkness.

Derinkuyu Underground City (Part I)

by ozalp

This is the biggest underground city of Cappadocia. It has 8 levels. First level from the ground had been made and used by Hittites. Their purpose was using this level for living. Other levels had been added by former Christians as a protection against raids. They were living over the soil but when the enemy came near; they left their houses and went into the underground city. Since Cappadocia was on the road of the armies passing by, it is said that they were living underground at least 100 days of a year.
The plan and protection system of the underground cities are complicated and perfect. All the tunnels from the ground houses reach the city easily and it can be locked with a huge circular rock simply. Since the rock under Cappadocia is too soft and easy to carve, they picked a hard rock from a different place to make the circular doors. These doors have a hole at the center. It is obvious that they could hunt their enemies from these small holes. If enemies could pass these doors, there were other doors and also there were tunnels spirally going down with windows to lower halls. Anyone with a weapon can fight enemies walking bended in narrow tunnels without any fighting skills.
The main problem is the air when you are living in a place fully covered. I perfectly breathed in every level of Derinkuyu. All underground cities have one or more wells which go 100-150 meters deep. They were used for providing water both upper and underground lives and also used for providing air into the underground city. Do not forget to bring a cigarette or something like that for a smoke experiment that proves the perfection of the 2000 years old ventilation system.

Soganli Valley: Karabas Church

by ozalp

There are several churches in this valley, like Tahtali Church in the pictures. Generally they are not in very good condition or they are not very special. Although Karabas Church has really marvelous frescoes. This church is on the right side of the Soganli Valley’s entrance. You have to climb a little to reach the small gate. Be careful, it is easy to fall down here. Interior is quite dark, because of the dark frescoes. They are so live and powerful pictures. Since there isn’t any protection (the church is in a far valley, over a rock) there are many carved writings in many languages on them. It is sad to see this kind of vandalism.

Introduction to a detailed Cappadocia

by FAIRYCHIMNEY

"ROCK – CUT GRAVES & PIGEON HOUSES"

Even though its believed to be carved for pigeons in the first place – in order to collect their droppings to be used as fertilers in the fields – the history of this sections goes back earlier in history.

Throughout the Anatolian history , inhabitants desired to be buried on the highest platforms since earliest 8000 BC –almost paleothic age.Traditions and customs always pass to further generations or different residents.

Let’s first mention about the pigeon part ; Within this high formation there are almost over 1o floors and locals enter from the highest point of it.Entering the first section from the top and pushing all droppings to the lower flor untill they reach the basement and fill their sacks and get back to their villages on donkeys.This is brief and recent part.

Talking about the grave part is quite interesting ; not obvious in all pigeon houses but if you can go down to Pigeon valley in Uchisar and see more details of what i am saying : In most of these sections there are tiny niches carved into rock and its not really carved for pigeon to lay their eggs : these are smaller than a pigeon size and probably carved in earlier periods to leave some personal stuff of the burial.The number of small niches changes from 1 to 20 or more and a german reseacher states that these carvings might be suggesting the age of the dead . So briefly , earlier purpose was grave to a certain degree , but later on as the pigeons show interest to these sections as they were close to water , locals took the advantage of it to collect their droppings. Secondly , most of the pigeon houses decorated with beatiful ornaments . Touristic version of the information is : ‘ok we did it , so pigeons will be able find their homes following the signals ‘ But in fact ,this also goes back to pagan beliefs. They used to put the dead’s favorite tools into their graves and paint their occupation while they were alive.This mostly seen –painting part- in Roman and Byzantine grave stells. Talking of specifically Cappadocian part ; paintings on the rocks shows almost same characteristic of Hittite symbols and styles , so we can date the orginal source back to around about 1700 BC.

"UNDERGROUND SETTLEMENTS"

Cappadocia, the land of fairies , owes it’s volcanic lanscape to two major ancient volcanos : Mt. Hasan and Mt. Argeus(Erciyes) Around about 10 million years ago , central Anatolia was trying to find it’s shape : After numerous erruptions landscape have been sculpted-still- by wind ,rain, carved by nature itself and provided us the most amazing surroundings today . Whether call these formations troglodyte or ‘fairy chimney’ , throughout the history they have been homes to the populaces that seek shelter from invaders crisscrossed Anatolia , harsh conditions , persecutions and many other possible reasons. Al tough documented history of underground cities goes back to Hittites , since neolithic age , it was found much easier to dig into underground rather than construct houses or for any other purposes .As ignimbrite is a good insulator - warmth in winter and cooler in summer ; It might be considered as a natural A/C – and on the other hand Asia Minor was plunged into a mini ice age for 500 years in the middle of 10.000 BC, it make sense to consider these cities-oldest parts- excavated in the earlier stages of Anatolian history. To support my thesis : The world’s earliest known communities was founded 10.000 years ago in Catalhöyük ; also note that a relief from 9000BC can be seen in Anatolian Civilazitions Museum today –in Ankara) that portrays the most recent erruption in Hasan Volcano.
Today , Some locals in Cappadocia still live in –or use as stables/deposits- these cave-like formations.Today it presents a beatiful contrast of modern and ancient.

PARTLY HYPOTHETICAL CHRONOLOGY OF THE ‘UNDERGROUND’ LIVING
8500 BC – MINI ICE AGE (FOUNDATION)
2000 BC – USED BY ASYRIANS –AS DEPOSITS ETC
1500 BC – ENLARGED BY HITTITES FOR MILITARY PURPOSES
550 BC – PHRYGIAN INVASIONS - POSSIBLY FIRST USAGE FROM INVASIONS-I PERSONALLY DID’T FIND OUT YET WHETHER FRYGIANS WERE FRIENDLY OR NOT
500 BC- PERSIAN INVASIONS - THEY RULED WHOLE ANATOLIA OVER 250 YEARS.
325 BC HELLENISTIC ANATOLIA ; SEEMS SAFER !
150 -200 AD USED AS SHELTERS &ENLARGED DURING THE MAJOR ROMAN PERSECUTIONS IN ANATOLIA
600- 700 AD USED AS SHELTERS DURING ARAB INVASIONS
1200-1500 AD SELJUK CARAVAN-SERAI SOMEHOW CONSTRUCTED NEAR BY : AGAIN MILITARY &DEPOSIT PURPOSES
1400 AD - 1960’s DEPOSITS&STABLES
*Please note that during harsh and cruel invasions plus persecutions ‘underground living’ became sort of life style : That is probably why we see typical living forms today with kitchen, wine cellars,living rooms,stables-mensures, chapels….etc*

KAYMAKLI : One of the biggest with several levels ( 5 to 6 floors –excavated parts ) This site discovered in 1964 and second popular settlement that has been visited by tourist groups.
DERİNKUYU : This one also discovered around 1960’s ; As it’s ten floors already excavated , it might be considered as the ‘biggest’ underground city in Cappadocia.Huge round stones are very significant –that are sealed from the other side- It seems big enough for 20.000 population ! Derinkuyu is the most popular underground city in Cappadocia , but to me , it causes nothing but feeds my paranoia
ÖZKONAK : 8 kilometres after Avanos, only with 2 floors . highly-recommended for clastrophobics and for those who want to explore ‘Cappadocia’ but out of tourist traffic.
TATLARİN : An extensive semi-troglodytic complex; Al though only few cave sections available to visit today , one amazes at his exciments upon seing ‘ well-planned’ two ancient touilets. My favorite underground settlement is Tatlarin to be true ; it also attached to a beatiful but small chapel (its also funny to see that part of the cave section is being used as ‘car-parking’ area ??? ) and wheel-shaped rock stones can also be seen here as it very typical to all underground cities in Cappadocia.

SITES OPEN TO ‘TOURISTIC’ VISIT TODAY :
KAYMAKLI : One of the biggest with several levels ( 5 to 6 floors –excavated parts ) This site discovered in 1964 and second popular settlement that has been visited by tourist groups.
DERİNKUYU : This one also discovered around 1960’s ; As it’s ten floors already excavated , it might be considered as the ‘biggest’ underground city in Cappadocia.Huge round stones are very significant –that are sealed from the other side- It seems big enough for 20.000 population ! Derinkuyu is the most popular underground city in Cappadocia , but to me , it causes nothing but feeds my paranoia
ÖZKONAK : 8 kilometres after Avanos, only with 2 floors . highly-recommended for clastrophobics and for those who want to explore ‘Cappadocia’ but out of tourist traffic.
TATLARİN : An extensive semi-troglodytic complex; Al though only few cave sections available to visit today , one amazes at his exciments upon seing ‘ well-planned’ two ancient touilets. My favorite underground settlement is Tatlarin to be true ; it also attached to a beatiful but small chapel (its also funny to see that part of the cave section is being used as ‘car-parking’ area ??? ) and wheel-shaped rock stones can also be seen here as it very typical to all underground cities in Cappadocia.

UNDERGROUND CITIES OFF THE BEATEN PATH
A real but risky adventure always requires additional equipments ; Provide a gun ,torch and helmet for below listed underground locations; some of them ihhabited by bat gangs and wolf families
• ACIGÖL
• GÖRE
• GÖKÇETOPRAK
• ÖZLÜCE
• SUVERMEZ

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 Cappadocia Palace Hotel

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Cappadocia Palace Hotel Urgup

Address: Dutlu Camii Mah Dar Sokak No. 3, Urgup, Cappadocia, Turkey