Located outside Nevsehir, Aciksaray (Open Palace) is a unique site that hasn’t been yet explored by many of the tourists. The site is a cave-village which structures carved out of rocks.
The site is located on the Nevsehir-Gulsehir road, just 15 km outside Nevsehir and 3.5 km south of Gulsehir. Aciksaray dates back to the 10th or 11th century. It’s a small site that was once a Byzantine settlement as you can see from the structures and chapels. It lies in an area of 1 square kilometer and has a total of eight complexes.
If you go to the back of the site, you can see a mushroom-shaped rock; you should take its photographs. You need to follow the path right to the end; later you will see a small stream, cross it, and follow the signposted trail. You will get to those unique rocks, which add to the beauty of this area.
You would probably not see many tourists as it has not yet gained the deserved interests of the tourists. In fact, just recently, the site gained interests of the historians, and after detailed examination, it was found that these sites are secular settlements. Before that, most of the sites were dubbed as monasteries. If you look at the residential complexes, most of them appear as a mansion, giving the ideas that some wealthy people lived here. Associations with the military that influenced this region around the 10th century have also been identified.
The structures are old and suffered from natural disasters and human changes, but you can see decorated facades. Several burials have also been identified here.
There have been no inscriptions found anywhere from these structures, so it can be said, when this site was built, by whom, and for what purpose. It can’t also be said what was its name, the name Aciksaray was given to it recently.
There are three churches nearby that are not linked with the complexes. There is evidence of paintings and you can see the traces of a large painting turned into a solitary cone. The scholars who did research here gave special importance to the paintings and according to them, the paintings date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
The military influence could have played a big role in the development of this site and they might have chosen this area because the landform here was suitable for carving structures next to each other. Some historians say that during the 10th and 11th centuries, the elite class lived here, while some say it might have been used by the traveling salesmen.
You need to take time and visit this site in detail if you want to go back in time, discover new complexes, and get a memorable experience.