Three Beauties of Ürgüp
Sinasos, old Greek Village now known as Mustafapasa
Short Walk in Soganlı Valley
Lunch in Soganli Village
Derinkuyu Underground City
Tour departs at 9.30 and you will be collected from your hotel prior to departure time.
The first stop is the famous ‘Three Beauties of Ürgüp’, where you can see the mushroom-shaped rock formations and a panorama of the city of Ürgüp. The magnificent landscape of Cappadocia has been formed from solidified lava streams, ash and tuff stone from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. The landscape you can see now is the result of thousands of years of continual erosion, which has shaped the tuff deposits into the strangest pyramids and cones. The guide gives you information about how the landscape was formed and the history of Cappadocia.
The next stop is in Mustafapaşa, which was originally known as Sinasos, an old village where Turks and Greeks lived side by side and where old Greek stone houses can still be seen. The Greeks left the village during the exchange of populations in 1923 agreed in the Treaty of Lausanne, and many of the houses have been abandoned since then or later turned into hotels.
After that you drive through Taşkınpaşa which has some of the best examples of Seljuk architecture in the district. The village houses follow the traditional plan, with stables on the ground floor to keep the upper floor rooms warm. There was also a ‘medrese’, an Islamic theological college there, but to this day only the impressive-looking doorway has been preserved.
Then you visit Sobessos, a recently discovered archaeological site from the Roman era, located near Şahinefendi village. A large meeting hall with beautiful mosaics has been excavated. The site also contains a Roman bath with a well-preserved underfloor heating system.
Sobessos is located in the southeast of Cappadocia near Sahinefendi village. It was found by a group of people by chance. Following searches and excavations showed us that this is an ancient city built in 4th century A.D. The excavations in Sobessos, overseen by the Ministry of Culture, will shed light on a previously unknown part of Cappadocian history.
THE MEETING HALL
It has an area of 400 m2 and consists of 3 rooms. There is a grave in the first room, the second room has mosaics and the third one, the main room, is supported by columns, its walls are plastered and its ground is covered with mosaics. It is estimated that this building could date back to the middle of 4th century or the 5th century AD.
THE ROOM WITH MOSAICS
Its floor has been completely cleaned and is covered with mosaics that are made out of colorful stones. The patterns are geometrical with swastikas, meandering shapes, cross symbols and forms resembling braided hair.
THE GRAVE IN THE MAIN ROOM
The grave in the north of the main room is placed in the East-West position and has a raised cross on its lid. Right underneath the grave’s lid, there is another lid that would prevent any bad odours from escaping. Both of the lids were made of lime mud. When both lids were opened, a skeleton of an adult male in a shroud, whose hands were on his belly, was discovered. The tissue samples of the skeleton were taken immediately. Because it is very fragile, it is under protection in its original place. The skeleton belongs to the same period as the chapel that was added afterwards.
The chapel is located on the upper floor of the meeting hall and is near the east room. It was coarsely built with materials that were supplied from the main hall. According to the coin that was found during the excavation, the chapel dates back to the middle of 6th century.
THE FIELD OF PEHLIVAN FAMILY
It was said that in the clover field of Pehlivan Family, to the north of the building with mosaics, another building with columns and mosaics existed. In order to investigate the rumor, it was decided excavate to a depth of 2.20 meters in this field. As a result of this excavation, at the depth of 1.80 meters, a section of a stone based construction was discovered. The further excavation continued with a 4×4 meter width at 4 plan square and a section of the bath complex of the ancient city was brought to light at 2.30 meters deep.
An apoditorium (dressing room) with mosaics, a caldorium (steam room) with the preserved sitting places, a large section of the cistern, supported by a semi-circle wall, were discovered. As the result of this excavation, it was realized that the apoditorium was covered with barrel-vault, but that it was destroyed by fire. The bath was built with hypocaust system (hot air heating system) and the caldorium consisted of two sections. At a depth of 2.50 meters, remains of a hexagon supported with a round terracotta tondos was discovered on the base.
This building, belonged to the late Roman period, was renovated for functional reasons during early Christian period. In the north of the caldorium, a large but well-preserved jar which was used for storing provisions at that time, was discovered.
The ruins at Sahinefendi village dates back to the Roman and early Christian period (second half of the 4th century AD).
Next you drive through Şahinefendi Village, where you can observe typical local villagers doing their daily chores, dressed in traditional national costumes. You can also see the huge storage caves in the surronding hills where fruit and vegetables are stored.
The tour then takes a short walk in Soğanli valley, where there are many different churches with reasonably well preserved frescoes dating from the 10th to the 13th centuries. If you wish, you can also buy the most famous local souvenir, traditionally made by the viilage women, the Soğanli doll from here. At the end of the valley you have lunch in a local restaurant.
The next stop is in Derinkuyu Underground City, the deepest underground city in the area, which is approximately 85 meters deep and has 8 levels. These troglodyte cave-cities were excavated as early as Hittite times, and expanded over the centuries as various marauding armies traversed Central Anatolia in search of captives and plunder. There are 36 underground cities in Cappadocia and the deepest one is Derinkuyu underground city.