Ortahisar

Ortahisar

Ortahisar, meaning middle fortress in Turkish, is 6 km from Ürgüp and about 10 km from Nevsehir city centre. The village is at 1200 meters above sea level with about 4,000 inhabitants, and its name is coming from a massive 90 meter high rock, similar to Uçhisar. This rock was used for many centuries since the Hittite period as a castle to protect local inhabitants from invaders and to scout the region. There are many rooms and tunnels inside, and the top is accessible by a staircase. Once you get on top, there is a breathtaking view of Cappadocia and the Erciyes mountain at the background. Carved tuff rooms around the village are used as a natural cool depot to store citrus, apple, potatoes etc. The village is surrounded by wineyards as well.

         Besides this castle-rock, there are several churches in and around Ortahisar from early Christians; Sarica church, Kepez church, Pancarlik church, Tavsanli church, Cambazli church, Balkan stream church, Hallac dere hospital and monastic complex, and Uzumlu church in Kuzulcukur area. These are all Turkish names given by the local people, not their original names.

         There is a private Ethnography museum in Ortahisar, recently opened in 2004 and showing examples from the daily village life, agriculture, kitchen, carpet weaving, Hammam, Henna night and marriage. It also has a cafeteria and a restaurant to relax and enjoy the local food.

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