Did you know that pigeons and stolks are very dear to locals in Cappadocia ? In Karaburna village we found that they actually set nests for stolks themselves : ) Unlike the other traditional(partly conservative) villages in Cappadocia this village produce wine but most importanly there are few significant ruins from Hittite-Late Hittite period.
To figure out the periods :
ASYRIAN TRADE COLONIES ( 2000 – 1725 BC )
Colonies /Kültepe/Kanis /Hattusa
Pottery wheels started to be used
Ends up with big burn down in Kültepe in 1725 BC
HITTITES ( 1720 – 712 BC )
Battle of Kadesh -1274 BC
IRON AGE ( 1200 – 750 BC )
LATE HITTITE (1200 – 650 BC )
Uchisar Castle is a rocky volcanic outcrop located in the village of Uchisar. The rock is riddled with tunnels and caves. From the top of the rock you have great views of Goreme and Cappadocia. You can also see Mt Erciyes, 3916m high, hovering in the distance. I visited Uchisar Castle as an after thought as it was the last thing attraction that I saw while in Cappadocia. It should not be overlooked as the views are wonderful and it is easy to get to from Goreme by way of dolmuses (minibus). I actually walked back to Goreme from here. Oddly enough I have not found much information on why the locals dug so many caves into the rock. I imagine it was for defensive reasons hence the name. It cost $1 to visit the castle which is open from 8am to sunset. Surprisingly it was not difficult to climb up Uchisar Castle and should not pose a problem for most people.
This a private museum with very realistic displays of typical scenes of traditional daily life in Cappadocia. If you are interested in ethnology, you will love this museum. It is a must see for everybody visiting Ortahisar. Its front entrance is through a nicely decorated restaurant owned by the same people. So don't get confused. It is at the same square as the tower of Ortahisar. Check the website for more details.
Urgup has a small and cheap museum in the city centre, right next to the tourism information office. The museum doesn't seem to be very popular among tourists. It is a shame because some of the items in its collection are very very old. You can't see pieces from Neolitic times or 5000-yrs-old potteries everywhere. If you are already in Urgup and have time, drop by! But don't go to Urgup just to see this little museum.
It is open everyday except Mondays between 08.00-12.00/13.00-17.00.
I am surprised no one has mentioned hiking the Red and Rose valleys. Have a cabbie drop you off near Urgup and hike to the town of Cavusin. You can hire a guide if you want but we did it on our own....its not that hard to find your way..just ask the locals..make sure you don;t miss the right turn into rose valley..it is a beautiful site when you climb to the top
I had not even thought of including a visit to the Agzikara Hani in my plans while touring Cappadocia. However I bus tour that took me to the Ilhara Valley included a stop here so I had no choice. The Agzikara Hani is a medieval caravanserais. These where sort of the business hotels of the middle ages and were doted along the Silk Road. The Agzikara Hani actually dates from the 13th century and the complex is very well preserved. It consists of several chambers surrounding a large courtyard. Included is a large hall where the trading was done.
Today the Agzikara Hani is still used for trading of sorts. The locals sell rugs to tourists here at the entrance and in the courtyard. To be honest in my opinion, I did not think the place deserved any extra effort to get to and was only mildly interesting.
The Agzikara Hani is located 16km northeast of Aksaray on the road to Neveshir. It cost about $1 to enter and it is open from 7:30am to 8pm daily.
One of the more unexpected surprises that I had while touring Cappadocia was this wonderful rockcut monastery. The Selime Monastery was carved out the rock by Christian monks in the 13th century. The size of the church makes a visit here astonishing. How did the monks manage to carve such a large complex out rock with such amazing detail. Columns are meticulously carved in huge chambers. The church consists of monk quarters, a large kitchen and even a stable for mules. The walls of the chambers were at onetime adorned with frescos but little of these remain. The Selime Monastery was probably the most impressive of the rockcut churches and monasteries that I visited in Cappadocia.
A problem with visiting this monastery is the approach to it. I visited with on a bus tour. From the road there is a short but challenging climb up a steep and slippery hill to the monastery itself. Some of the tour group could not make the climb which is very sad because the seeing monastery was worth the effort.
I think that it is actually free to visit the monastery if you are on your own. A guardian closes the place up after sunset.
Admittedly there is not much to do or see here. It was just some lake on the side of the road. I think it was a crater lake, and possibly also the only lake in Cappadocia, though I am not sure.
I suppose you could take a stroll around it or, weather permitting, take a swim. We did neither. Snapped this picture then left.
Supposedly these rocky cones were used as a backdrop for the movie, "Star Wars". Whether it is true or not, I do not know. I suspect that a second crew may have taken a couple of shots of the scenary. If you watch the film you will probably see a quick glimpse of these rocks.
The Church of St. John's is on the way to the Zelve Open Air Museum from Goreme. As it is just off of the main road, it is easy to visit by car but if you are like me you will probably stop by on the hike along the way to fairy chimneys. The church was carved into the rock around the 13th century. It features sum of the more interesting frescos that you are going to find in Cappadocia.
In a valley between Avanos and Göreme you find these fairy chimneys. The darker stone on the top is harder than the stone below and has not been as much erroded. It looks like hats, mushroom hats. It is an amazing landscape!
Along the road between Aksaray and Nevsehir there are a few caravanserais (or ruins of them).
On the Ilhara-tour I took from Göreme we stopped at Agzikara Hani, which is the best preserved of them. It was built during the 1230s. Entering the courtyard there is a mosque. Around are the rooms for the traders and animals.
Avanos is a town north of Göreme, famous for its pottery. If you are going on a tour you will probably make a stop at one of the workshops.
When I went on the Ihlara-tour from Göreme one stop was at a pottery workshop in Avanos. The pottery is handpainted and can be very nice. In the shop I visited there were different rooms depending on the cuality of the pottery. I can tell you that in the most expensive room there were many beautiful things.
North of Ihlara, cut in the rocks, is Selim Monastery. It is a complex with several rooms. The church has a gallery and you can climb some stairs to the upper gallery in one room.
The rocks are more cone shaped here than in Göreme.
Some people say that this place was used when making the Star Wars film, but it is not true.
In many of the churches of Ihlara Valley there are well preserved old frescos, some dating from the 10th and 13th century.
The fresco in the picture is from the first church you come to when you walk down the steps from the resthouse, close to Ihlara Village.