Gulsehir places to visit

Gulsehir, one of the oldest settlements of Cappadocia is situated on the southern side of Kizilirmak River. It is 20 km far away from Nevsehir. During the domination of Persian and Byzantine in Cappadocia, Gulsehir was named as ‘Zoropasso’ and later on the name ‘Arapsun’ was used even after the Ottomans conquered the area on 1466. Arapsun on 1584 was a village of Uchisar of Nigde. At the end of the 18th century the name of the Village was changed into Gulsehir by Ottoman pasha Silahtar Seyyid Mehmet Pasha, also known as Karavezir1. After Karavezir, once more the name Gulqehir was changed into Arapsun and was used until 1948. After 1948 the name Gulsehir was again in usage. On 1954 Nevsehir became a city and Gulsehir was separated from Nigde and attached to Nevsehir.

Karavezir Complex

The Complex, in the city center, was constructed between 1777 and 1781 during Karavezir Seyyid Mehmet Pasha period. The Complex consists of mosque, madrasah, bath and fountain. It is known that Karavezir has established a foundation in order to provide sustainability to the Complex.

Karavezir Mosque: It has been constructed by Seyyid Mehmet Pasha on 1779. The Mosque is also known as ‘Kursunlu Cami’ and is surrounded by a courtyard with three entrance. In the construction, the typical yellow and white cut off stone of Gulsehir has been used decoratively. The Mosque reflects the characteristic Ottoman architecture and has a dome carried by four arches and located on a square plan. The one crowned minaret of Mosque is 37m high. Over the entrance gate signature of Abdulhamid, I in a medal shape was located and under it the inscription of the Mosque was placed. The marble altar, pulpit and sermon bench are worth to see.

Karavezir Madrasah: It is located on the opposite of Karavezir Mosque, on the other side of the road. It is understood from the inscription that it was constructed on 1780. The Madrasah has a courtyard with 32×32 m wide, 13 small rooms and one classroom. Between 1933 and 1962 it was used as a prison and after 1963 it was turned into a library. Today it still serves as a library. Karavezir Bath: The bath was constructed on 1777 and grey cutt off stone was used in the construction. The Bath has classical characteristics of Ottoman baths and has a changing room, tepidity and caldarium. In its caldarium there are 5 taps with marble valves. The Bath had a restoration on 1962 and on 1971 the original cauldron of 250 kg weight was changed. Today, the Bath is not able to find an operator because of the economical reasons and is kept closed.

Gulsehir Fountains: Karavezir, in order to bring water to the district has built up water carriers from Pmarbasi which is 5 km far away and has surrounded Gulsehir with fountains. There were 8 fountains registered in the act of Karavezir foundation and three of them are being used today. The Bas Fountain which used to be on Tuzko’y road, moved next to the Mosque and the Madrasah.

Agik Saray (Open Palace) Ruins

It is located 3 km far away from Gulsehirand on the left side of Nevsehir-Gulsehir road. Here we come across with a wide spread structure ensemble. AH of these structures are

called as Agik Saray’. Presumably, this area has witnessed settlements starting from Roman period or maybe from earlier periods. In later years, the Christians of the area converted these Roman structures into their own usage. After the settlement of Turks, some of the structures have been also used by them. Agik Saray was renovated on 1961 and opened to the visitors, today it is possible to see 3 monasteries, 12 churches, rock engraved houses and graves from Roman period and unfortunately most of them were damaged because of  the erosion. The rock engraved churches dated to 9th or 10th centuries and usually they do not have any frescoes. But some of them have one colored geometrical drawings and some of them have embossed animal figures, crufix any other components. A little stream, passes through the settlement area ofAgik Saray and divides the ruins into two. Since there are no explanatory writings on none of the structures, it is hard to define them. But we will try to explain you the structures in visiting order starting from the entrance gate. Due to the entrance gate on the right side of the stream, alternately, there are church with exterior decoration, monastery, fermentatory barn, ruins of a small palace and above it there are Roman period graves spread to the bottom, monastery with four pillars, a structure with arch, a church with pillars, a structure with stairs and another church later on converted into a mosque. Due to the entrance gate on the left side of the stream, alternately, there are Fungus Rock (Mantar Kay a) formation, which became a symbol for Gulsehir, ruins of a big palace, fermentatory and at the end a church whose some frescoes were able to reach today.

Civelek Cave

It is located in Civelek Village which is 5 km bird eye northeast of Gulsehir district, the Cave is 2 km north of the Village and on a limestone hill known as GCirlek Hill. The entrance of the Cave starts with 2 km length narrow passage which can be only passed by creeping. The entrance gate is 1230 m high and after the entrance there is a 14 m length perpendicular stack declivity reaching to the main gallery which has 11×22 m dimension. While the Cave has been used by the people, most probably the entrance of the Cave was in another place and later on this entrance was supposed to be closed by natural reasons. In Civelek Cave, Halis Yenipinar, the manager of Nevsehir Museum started studies on 1991 and then Italian speleologs joined his studies in 1993. After the researches, many earthenwares and one disk crusher made of bone and used for woven from Neolithic and Calcolithic periods damaged and broken because of the treasure hunters. Due to the foundlings from Neolithic period to Pre Bronze Age, it is understood that the Cave has been used by the people as a cult place instead of a settlement area.

Gokgetoprak Inscriptive Rocky Monument

It is nearby Gokgetoprak Village which is 25 km north west ofAcigol district. In order to reach Gokgetoprak, you may follow the road from Acigol which passes through Yuva and Kozluca villages. The Monument, which the locals of Gokgetoprak calls ‘scriptive stone’, is situated 2.5 km south of the Village and it has grave hollows on it. It is anticipated that this rock has fall down from the upper block after the earthquake and found its today’s place. The first person who ascertained this monument in Gokgetoprak Village on 1906 was Hans Rott, the Austrian architect, who was travelling along the region.  The inscription on the rock has two sections and the meaning of the text has not been completely understood yet. It is assumed that the inscription belongs to Tabal Kingdom of Neo-Hittite era. Prof. Dr. Bilge Umar argues

that this place has been used for worshiping and the inscription reads that Vasusarmas, the King of Tabal, used to come here to pray.

Gokgetoprak Zeus Relief

The rock, located in Gokgetoprak Village was flattened and a relief has been done on it. Today, there is a house upon the rock where the relief has been situated. The relief has been placed into a niche on the rock and the figure is in sitting picture and holding up his his left hand. The upper side of his body is naked and he is wearing a hangings cloth. Although the identity of this relief has not been clear, it is generally accepted that it is the figure of Zeus, the Greek god. The first one who talked about this thesis on 1906 was Hans Rott, Austrian architect. Rott says that, during 5th century BC, the Greek god Zeus cult was very common in Cappadocia region and the god had both feminen and masculine looking. This figure has a beard and his breasts are distinctive, he holds a lance in one his hands and an axe in his other hand, these were the symbols of his being god.

Gokcetoprak Underground City

The floors of the city were found by French on 1989 and by Italians on 1991. The draw well on the second floor is 25 m deep and still has water inside. Since the necessary arrangements have not been done yet, the underground city is closed to visitors.