Ortahisar which means "the fortress
in the middle" is a picturesque town built
around a huge tufa rock with numerous openings
. Because of erosion, external walls have collapsed
showing the rooms carved inside.
in spite of its different shapes, this
tufa rock resembles Ortahisar
with which it formed a defensive chain
of natural fortresses. From the top
(60m/200 ft) there is a beautiful panorama
over the town and neighborhood, as well
as the Valley of the Pigeon Houses.
is an open-air museum. A religious community
used to live in this valley. Monks carved
churches and monastic buildings out of
the rocks. The splendid decoration painted
by artists adds to the picturesque architectural
decoration. The churches which can be
seen there date back to the second half
of the 9th century and afterwards, and
frescoes were painted around the 11th
- Tokalı Kilise
"the Church of the Buckle,composed of the
Old Chapel and the New Church, has the most
- Karanlık Kilise "the
was part of a monastery and has an
Çarıklı Kilise" the
Church of the Sandal" which name
derives from a footprint on the ground
considered as divine and located below
the Ascension fresco.
- Barabara Kilisesi "the
Church of St Barbara" has a pictorial
simplicity with a red dominant color.
- Yılanlı Kilise "the Church of
the Serpent" where St George and St
Theodore are fighting against the evil under
the appaearance of a serpent.
- El Nazar Kilise is located inside
a remote cone.