Ortahisar Castle

Ortahisar castle is located in Ortahisar, a very ancient town in Cappadocia. It is renowned for having the largest fairy chimney in the region. The history of settlement in Ortahisar dates back to ancient times, reaching as far back as the 11th century. When migration from Central Asia to Anatolia began, the Uzbeks from Horasan built nine separate houses here. With the houses constructed by these nine families, Ortahisar transformed into a town, and these nine families became the first settlers in the area.

Ortahisar History

Ortahisar region has witnessed the presence of numerous civilizations throughout history. In the 1500s BCE, it was dominated by the Hittites, followed by the Phrygians in the 1200s BCE. In 657 BCE, the Lycians and Persians took control. Subsequently, it came under the rule of the Romans and Byzantines. It became a town in 1916. It is one of the first areas in the Cappadocia region to open up to tourism. The region became part of the Turkish territory after the Battle of Malazgirt in 1071. Rich in cultural and historical heritage due to its exposure to various civilizations, Ortahisar Castle has a history dating back to the Hittites. It was initially carved during that era and later used as a refuge by the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans.

Ortahisar Castle Features

Ortahisar castle, synonymous with the name of the town in which it is located, is known as the largest fairy chimney in the Cappadocia region. Resembling a Babylonian tower, this castle is one of the earliest known multi-storied settlements in the world, holding significant historical importance. It served as a stopping point for the Silk Road caravans. The castle is surrounded by steep valleys on three sides. The rocks in the castle were carved for shelter and protection purposes during times of war. Originally carved by the Hittites for these purposes, it was later continued by the Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans. Each civilization continued to use it as a refuge. It is known as the initial settlement area of the town.

The first settlement in the town took place within this castle. As the population increased, they began constructing two-story houses descending in steps down the slopes. This way, the population grew, and the area transformed into a town.

Ortahisar Castle Ottoman Period

Ortahisar Castle, located in Nevsehir, was annexed to the Ottoman territories by Fatih Sultan Mehmet around 1470. On the eastern side of the castle, there is another fortress visible from its landscape, known as the Small Ortahisar castle or İshak Paşa castle. Fatih Sultan Mehmet sent İshak Paşa to the region to resolve the Karaman issue. Upon arriving, İshak Pasa aimed to take over the Temenni Hill. Subsequently, he turned his attention to Ortahisar castle. When he attempted to conquer it, the people took a defensive stance, closing the entrances and exits of the castle with large millstones. İshak Pasa realized he couldn’t take the castle this way and started digging tunnels with his soldiers. Through these tunnels, he successfully captured the castle.

Compared to Uchisar castle in the region, Ortahisar Castle might appear smaller, but it has a steeper structure. Foreigners have named this castle “shato.” With an elevation of 1200 meters and a height of 86 meters, it boasts impressive grandeur. The distance from the ground to the north of Ortahisar castle is 80 meters, while it exceeds 110 meters from the south. The castle contains interconnected tunnels leading to rooms and corridors. Climbing to the top can be challenging, but it offers breathtaking views of old villages and valleys. Guided tours, accompanied by professional guides, provide in-depth information about Ortahisar castle.

Where is Ortahisar Castle?

Ortahisar castle, carved in ancient times and resembling an ancient skyscraper, offers a bird’s-eye view of the Avanos, Göreme, and Ürgüp regions. With its breathtaking panorama, the castle captivates its visitors. Those wishing to visit the castle often inquire about the location, asking the question, “Where is Ortahisar castle?” Ortahisar castle is located in the Ortahisar region, taking its name from the town. The Ortahisar region is situated within Ürgüp. The castle is in the Cappadocia Ürgüp region. The distance from Nevşehir center is approximately 15.5 km, and the distance between Ürgüp and Ortahisar is about 6.3 km. Ortahisar Castle is also quite close to the Göreme region. Therefore, visitors can come to see Ortahisar castle after visiting the Göreme open air museum. The distance between the two locations is approximately 4 km. Due to their proximity, it is highly recommended not to leave the area without exploring both places.

Places to Visit Around Ortahisar Castle

The Ortahisar region, with its local characteristics typical of Cappadocia, hosts numerous notable sites. Travelers to this area should not leave without exploring these places. The region boasts natural beauties and historical structures that have accompanied civilizations over the centuries, carrying traces of rich monastic life. This is especially evident through Ortahisar’s churches.

Churches like Harim church, Tavşanlı church, Cambazlı church, Sarıca church, Balkan Stream churches, Üzümlü church, and Hallac Dere Monastery can be found in the region. When visiting this area, make sure to explore these unique churches.

For those interested in the natural beauty of the valleys in the region, Pancarlık valley, located on the right side of the Ürgüp-Mustafapaşa road, opens its doors to visitors. Kepez and Sarıca churches are situated in this valley. Visitors can also join organized bicycle tours or enjoy the view of the valleys from hot air balloons.

The Ethnography museum is another attraction in the Ortahisar region, welcoming visitors. Located in Cumhuriyet Square, this museum is a must-visit. The museum showcases various regional crafts such as carving tuff rocks and carpet weaving, allowing visitors to observe the characteristics of these traditional practices.

Where is Ortahisar Castle Map

Ortahisar Castle Entrance Fee How Much?

Ortahisar castle, with its unique bird’s-eye view, may have varying entrance fees in 2024, subject to change. However, the pricing is generally affordable. The castle is operated by Ortahisar Municipality, and as such, an entrance fee is applicable. Since it is managed by the municipality, the Museum Pass is not valid at this site. Visitors can plan their visits based on the current pricing. As of 2024, the entrance fee for Ortahisar castle is set at 50 Turkish Lira.

How to Go to Ortahisar Castle?

Ortahisar castle’s road history is a matter of interest for those who wish to visit. Visitors often plan their trips based on directions to explore other sites around the castle. Ortahisar is connected to Ürgüp, a region in Nevşehir. The town of Ortahisar houses the castle, providing a panoramic view of Göreme, Ürgüp, and Avanos. Due to its unique panorama, it has attracted both local and foreign tourists.
To reach Ortahisar castle from Nevsehir, one can use buses departing from Ürgüp and Göreme. This is a cost-effective way to travel. If individuals prefer to use private vehicles, they can first reach Ortahisar Tepebaşı Square. From there, they can park their vehicles and walk to the castle. Taking guided tours with professional guides for information about Ortahisar castle can be highly beneficial. The detailed information provided by guides can make the trips much more meaningful.


Ortahisar Castle Photos

Visitor Reviews (1)
  1. JosephAveva dedi ki:

    I was a little scared when going up to Ortahisar Castle, but I was amazed by its incredible natural state.

Kapadokya Yardım
Kapadokya Yardım
Yakın Zamanda Hizmete Girecektir.