Ortahisar

This is a small town situated south of the road between Nevsehir and Ürgüp. Although the place has only few tourist structures, it is full of life here. The whole town seems to be on its feet in the centre, and the teahouses and gardens round the central square seem to burst with men playing cards and palavering. Opposite the tourist information there lies, quiet and shady, the town’s most beautiful teagarden at the foot of the ‘Kale’ mountain. Like Uçhisar, Ortahisar, too, has a huge perforated rock formation which is visible from afar. ‘Ortahisar’ means ‘middle castle’ and, contrary to its counterpart, Uchisar, the impression of a castle can be seen more obviously here. The rock is actually somewhat smaller and the view is not so distant, as it is situated deeper, but climbing it is much more exciting. You will get a vivid impression of what it was like to live not only on and in the rock, but also with it. The ascent is only for people who are surefooted and you should also be free from giddiness here. Several metal ladders go upstairs through narrow openings, and now and again you walk along close to the precipice to the next ascent, where the rickety railings do not really convey a feeling of security. A magnificent view over the town and its neighbourhood finally rewards for much trembling of the knees. In 2007 the mayor of the town declared the rock closed to visitors. The commune complained about the insufficient safety installations with the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, as they feared accidents. The barriers have however been made rather half-heartedly. The fence is easy to get around and the entrance has been bricked up only half, so that only few tourists can be kept from climbing up the rock in spite of that.
Since a few years ago there has been a small privately installed ethnological museum which is situated opposite the mosque. In it, scenes from traditional Cappadocian life are shown by means of full-size figurative representations equipped with everyday objects from the pre-touristic time. These lovingly equipped dioramas are also explained in detail. The admission fee of 3 TL is well spent here. And do not be deterred by having to walk through a restaurant first, for both institutions are run by the same owner, for which reason the museum is closed from 12.00 noon to 5.00 p.m.
A visit to the numerous antiques shops at the foot of the Kale is also worthwhile. Though there is much competition here, you will not pick up a bargain. The second-hand dealers know their rates.