The castle of Nevsehir stood on the hilltop overlooking the old neighborhoods of the city. While these old districts had a Medieval Castle on the top, a few Ottoman Mosques scattered around, and some old Greek and Turkish Mansions built with the local volcanic stones of Cappadocia, the whole picture looked undeveloped and unattractive. As a result, the city council authorized a few construction companies to renovate the old neighborhoods of Nevsehir city. However, a church with frescoes dating back to the 4th or the 5th Century and a monastic settlement with traces of a sun or fire temple changed everything. The companies withdrew from the project and Nevsehir city took it over. Last year, the Rock City and the Castle of Nevsehir were introduced to the Turkish Tourism Industry.
Where are Nevsehir city, her castle, and the new rock city?
Turkey has a provincial system and divided into 81 provinces. Popular Cappadocia's main attractions are grouped in the borders of Nevşehir Province. Nevsehir is located almost in the middle of the Republic of Turkey. Besides her own airport named Kapadokya in Gulcehir district, Nevsehir is accessible with an hour's drive from Kayseri Erkilet Airport. It takes only 3 hours to get to Nevşehir from the nearby big cities like Ankara, Konya, and Adana thanks to the newly developed highways. The Castle of Nevsehir is located on the top of the city where the big table mountains stretching to the South starts. The newly discovered Rock City lies on the Eastern slopes of the Castle of Nevsehir.
Who built the Castle of Nevsehir?
Not much is known about the Castle of Nevsehir. The majority of historians claim it was a Medieval Castle and built by the Seljuks around 1100. The Castle was built to protect the trading routes from the East and the South. The caravanserais scattered around the smaller settlements of Nevsehir province support this information as Sarihan Caravanserai is 20 and Alayhan Caravanserai is 35 kilometers away from the Castle of Nevsehir. The Castle has four circular towers and relatively small compared to the other Medieval Castle of Anatolia. The castle was renovated recently and opened along with the Rock City lying underneath.
Does the castle rise on top of the biggest underground city of Cappadocia?
The cave system underneath the castle of Nevsehir may seem gigantic to the beholder from the modern Nevsehir city. After visiting an underground city in Cappadocia one can easily define the caves underneath the castle as terraced cave systems. The underground caves are connected from the underground horizontally and vertically which creates an ant house-like structure expanding into the volcanic rocks underneath the superficial cities. However, caves below the Castle of Nevsehir are built like a staircase and terraced from the bottom of the valley to the top of the hill. That system of architecture is seen in almost all towns and cities of Cappadocia built on rocky slopes. These terraced cave systems enabled the Cappadocians to create massive storage and living quarters carved into the volcanic rocks behind their tiny house in the front. Each Cappaodocian carved underneath the houses and caves of their neighbor living above them to create a housing system with infinite views, fresh air, and direct sunlight throughout the day. These settlements flourished around the monasteries of the early Christians of Cappadocia. As a result, some Cappadocia hotels are coming with small churches and chapels where you can conduct ceremonies, organize meetings and even spend the night underneath symbols of Christianity. A church decorated before the Iconoclastic Era and a monastery used most probably as a temple before Christianity was found in the Rock City of Nevsehir city. These are very valuable finds and unique in Cappadocia. Especially the sun or the fire temple don't have any other example in Cappadocia but in the South East of Anatolia which is the top of the Holy Crescent of Mesopotamia. The fire and sun-worshipping Assyriacs turned Christians but carried on their ancient traditions such as burying their religious leaders seated and facing to the East where Jesus' second coming will take place. Thanks to these two unique finds and their enormous size, The Rock City of Nevsehir City will be a very popular tourist attraction in the near future.
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