Popular for the rock castle standing in the middle of the town, Ortahisar (it means central castle) is a small town that offers great views. The town is somewhere in the center of other towns in the region: Urgup, Goreme, Uchisar, and Nevsehir, and it’s just at a distance of few kilometers from the Goreme Open Air Museum.
The main attraction of the town, is, of course, the 90-meter-high rock castle, that gave the town its name, but its friendly residents, narrow streets, and stone houses have also added to its popularity. The rock castle dominates the town and it’s considered a landmark, and the residents are proud of it. The structure that’s chambered with tunnels and caves, has crumbled with time and now a little of its interior is visible. After restoration, the peak is now accessible by the means of a staircase. From the castle, you can get an amazing view over Ortahisar, and see a beautiful sunset.
Ortahisar, even though a small town, is quite popular among the local and foreign visitors thanks to its beautiful land formations, fairy chimneys, rock churches, citrus granaries, and the mighty castle. If we consider the visits to rock churches, it’s one of the busiest towns in the region. The Balkan Deresi Churches and Sarica Church are situated in the same valley. Inside the building, there’s a small chapel with four churches.
The Hallac Monastery, also popular among the tourists, is said to be built in the 13 century. It’s only a km away from Ortahisar. The monastery is connected with its surroundings by the tunnels. On your visit to the monastery, you can get important historic information through the several frescoes and reliefs inside the building.
The stone houses are spectacular as well and you might not see a better example of stonework. In the houses, different people from several countries have settled. A majority of the tourists just come to the town, take pictures of the castle and leave, without exploring the hidden streets. You shouldn’t do this, as when you go on these narrow streets, you get to see the beautiful stone houses and admire the brilliant workmanship.
Another attraction in this town is the cool-air storages, carved into tuff rocks. When you are in the town, you can see the doors on the rock surfaces, and you will notice crates of lemons, oranges, apples, etc. being taken to the storage rooms. The storage rooms of today were once caves used for protection. There are more than 600 warehouses, and they are very important for the town’s economy.
If you are visiting Cappadocia, visiting Ortahisar should also be included in your list, as it’s an incredible town and it might surprise you with its beauty.