you're not looking for a party Uchisar makes an excellent
base from which to explore the unique Cappadocian landscape.
It's a sleepy little town, less dominated by the tourist
trade than Goreme or Avanos and with an atmosphere that
can fool you into thinking you're in Turkey in the late
70's rather than the late 90's.
There are some pleasant mid-range and cheap hotels and
pansiyons here and food is acceptable at several establishments.
Uchisar's Kale or fortress is visible for miles around and
has become the town's major tourist attraction, offering,
as it does, fine views over the surrounding countryside.
Uchisar is also a good place to begin a walking tour from
because it's down hill in every direction and because you
can take in Pigeon Valley, named for it's myriad nesting
holes carved to encourage said birds.
The highest peak in the region and the most prominent land
formation, the Uchisar Castle is a larger-than-life sculpture.
A climb up the 120 steps to the summit of the fortress is
a logical introduction to the rocky scapes of Cappadocia.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Byzantine army took
advantage of the natural elevation of three of the area's
rock formations and used them as natural fortresses. Uchisar,
together with Ortahisar and a rock castle at Urgup (now
in ruins), provided the means for an early warning system
using mirrors and lights, sending messages among the fortresses
and as far afield as Istanbul. Today the outer layers of
Uchisar's rock have been washed away by erosion to reveal
a honeycombed structure of tunnels and cavities, rising
above the man-made facades of the modern semi-troglodyte
village. Recently discovered was a secret tunnel leading
to the riverbed, which provided an emergency water supply
in the event of an attack.
| Avanos | Uchisar
| Urgup | Nevsehir
| Goreme Museum
| Zelve | Ihlara
Valley | Bits and Pieces
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