Mustafapasa – Ortahisar – Karain

Yesiloz and Karain

When you travel for 8.5 km along the road from Urgup to Kayseri, if you turn to the right and go another two km you arrive at Karacaviran. Keep continuing for a six km and you arrive in the village of Yesiloz, the site of the Tasar (Stone) Church, dedicated to Saint Theodora.

Sinasos and Mustafapasa

Near the Uzengi Stream, six km from Urgup on the way to Sinasos, you can see many dove cotes. The houses of Sinasos, with their beautiful stonework immediately attract your eye. Some of these houses have been restored and converted into small pensions or motels, the former usually run by families. The Caravanserai, which has also been restored and turned into a rug store, is very beautiful, as are the decorations within the wooden houses and the stone mosque. Another 24 km to the south of Sinasos is Soganli Valley.

Soganli (Onion) Valley

There are many churches in the valley, which lies within the boundaries of the neighbouring province of Kayseri. The churches of Kubbeli (Cupola), Karabas (Black Head), Yilanli (Snake), and St. Barbara are open to visitors. Most of the churches here were built in the 9th century and throughout the 25 km long valley you can see ruins from the time of the Roman occupation. The Karabas Church, carved into a giant fairy chimney, is very impressive with its frescoes dated to the
11th Century and the Kubbeli Church is typical of many of the churches in the region. There are lots of conic shaped fairy chimneys in the area and even more cloth dolls for sale. Handmade by village women and young girls, these distinctive dolls are one of the most beautiful souvenirs you can get in Cappadocia.

Ortahisar

Ortahisar (Centre Fortress) got its name from the stone mound, the Hisar (fortress) in the centre of the town. You get to the top of the hill b> taking the staircase winding through the carved stone houses. If the weather is clear you can see Mount Erciyes 70 km away. The Cambazli (Acrobat) Church in the Karsi district is on privately property but the owners always allow you to visit. Even if it may sound touch strange to have a church in your own garden the locals are used to it here. Some of these churches are private property. One such example is the Hallac Monastery in the Hallacderesi Stream.

There is life underground!

The carving into stone for shelter is not only a part of Cappadocia’s past but its present as well. For many years the lemons grown in the Cukurova Plateau have been preserved in underground storage facilities dug in the area. Their freshness, bright yellow colouring and juiciness are preserved in these cool and humid warehouses. With the developing of tourism in the region the number of underground restaurants and entertainment places, locally known as “kuzu” (lamb), have increased. In these restaurants tourist groups are entertained by folkloric shows and feast on roasted lamb.

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