Open Palace Date Open Palace Cappadocia
Open Palace The recent name was bestowed upon this magnificent colony after the erosion and quakes exposed a large underground complex which reminds the beholder of a palace of vast dimensions. In a relatively small area the sanctuaries and cave dwellings literally overlap, the majority of them featuring two or more floors with refectories, wine presses, kitchens, stores, wells and cistern. Aciksaray also displays some rare stone reliefs. The facade of a church is decorated with a pair of juxtaposed bulls, showing a small window between the lowered horns.
Curiously enough, this bull motif is frequent in the Open Palace. In a fresco of a refectory we see another bull, painted in red and in a good state of preservation. The same picture features a rider and the head of another bull.
The hollow conical rocks clustered along the norhtern side of the motor road are ancient burial chambers now devoid of interior features.
The colony of Aciksaray is divided by a narrow creek and some of the finest ruins are on the far side of the shallow water. The local farmers cultivate the soil which is plowed right up to the entrances of churches and caves.
From the visitors’ point of view this modern intrusion into the world of ancient relics has one advante. The cultivators are bringing to the surface thousands of pottery shards, many of them ornamented with primitive designs. With some patience one may even restore part of a vase, plate or pot.
Millennia of attrition also created here a number of weird boulders. Some remind us of giant mushrooms, petrified waterfalls, birds, trees and the kind, while others look like caricatures of noted personalities.
One tall boulder features a carved sofa with steps which could have been a preecher’s platform.