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Uchisar

Atop Cappadocia

Best Known for
The castle
Luxury hotels

Population
3844

Airports
Nevsehir Airport
Kayseri Airport

Best Time to Visit
May-June
August-November

The highest points are some of the most incredible spots in any area, and the scenery offered is usually unforgettable. In the Cappadocian region, the highest point is atop Uchisar Rock Castle, and it gifts visitors a different perspective of the area’s already incredible moonscape topography. This citadel sits at the heart of Uchisar town, 5km from Goreme.

Don’t let the word castle mislead you, as this is not your typical stone and mortal 16th-century castle. It lacks the grandeur typically associated with castles, and therefore, many people won’t quite classify it as breathtaking. Instead, Uchisar Rock Castle is just as the name suggests; a large mass of rock the size of a skyscraper towering above everything else in the region.

The skyscraper-like nature makes it one of the most treasured sites in the region. Since it is the highest point in the area, visitors get an exclusive bird’s eye view of Cappadocia and its attractions. Call us today for a well-planned tour of this magical castle.

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Planning a trip to Cappadocia? Answer this trip planner and get your FREE quotation within 24 hours.

The highest points are some of the most incredible spots in any area, and the scenery offered is usually unforgettable. In the Cappadocian region, the highest point is atop Uchisar Rock Castle, and it gifts visitors a different perspective of the area’s already incredible moonscape topography. This citadel sits at the heart of Uchisar town, 5km from Goreme.

Don’t let the word castle mislead you, as this is not your typical stone and mortal 16th-century castle. It lacks the grandeur typically associated with castles, and therefore, many people won’t quite classify it as breathtaking. Instead, Uchisar Rock Castle is just as the name suggests; a large mass of rock the size of a skyscraper towering above everything else in the region.

The skyscraper-like nature makes it one of the most treasured sites in the region. Since it is the highest point in the area, visitors get an exclusive bird’s eye view of Cappadocia and its attractions. Call us today for a well-planned tour of this magical castle.

Concierge Pin

Planning a trip to Cappadocia? Answer this trip planner and get your FREE quotation within 24 hours.

The History

The Town

Castle

Key Features

Tips & Etiquette

Like every other naturally occurring structure in the region, Uchisar Rock Castle dates back hundreds of millennia ago. However, its interaction with human history started a few thousand years ago, as far back as the Hittites. They used the natural structure as a stronghold and place of refuge since the high points allowed them to spot attacks from far.

The castle inhabitants carved out houses in the soft rock and the Byzantine era churches. Later on, it was used as a significant trade control center of the Silk Road and Royal Road, and when the Ottomans took over, it went back to being a defensive stronghold.

A small settlement, Uchisar town, sits right below the rock citadel. Due to the safety offered by the castle, the settlement has existed for hundreds of years. Whenever danger was spotted, the town inhabitants would escape to the castle, where there was an elaborate system of tunnels designed to hide them.

Today, Uchisar village has a lot of idyllic houses, souvenir shops, hotels, and lodging. Thanks to the abundance of accommodation in the town, it is one of the favored areas of stay for many visitors touring the Cappadocian region.

The castle was formed by two giant fairy chimneys sitting adjacent to each other. The inhabitants named the biggest of these chimneys Aganin Castle and the smallest one Cavusin Castle, with the highest point of the entire structure towering 100 meters above the town.

Many structures have been carved out into the rock; there are caves, a guardian room, and a vast joint hall. In addition, there are passages, stairs, and tunnels connecting different rooms in the castle, and these rooms have millstone doors at the entrances. These doors were used to control and cut off access to individual sections during invasions.

  • Most of the rooms on the north side of the castle were used as pigeon houses to collect pigeon droppings. Locals considered these droppings an effective natural fertilizer for their vineyards and orchards. Some of these rooms are still in use today to collect the droppings.
  • There are simple Byzantine graves carved out on top of the castle, but these have been eroded and ransacked.
  • It is said that there exist long defense tunnels that reach far into the surrounding tunnels. However, this can’t be proved as the tunnels have collapsed in places.
  • During the Roman era, graves were hollowed out into the fairy chimneys surrounding the castle. As a result, the entrances of these rock-cut tombs generally face west.
  • There are a couple of rock-cut lodgings and hotel rooms providing accommodation around the castle. These rooms give visitors a chance to experience life in a carved-out room, even for a few nights.
  • It’s a steep climb to the top, so put on your convenient hiking shoes for a visit.
  • The best time to visit the castle is in the evening since you can catch the breathtaking sunset at this time.
  • Remember to carry a camera if you have one, as this is also an excellent photo stop.

Visiting Uchisar Town and Castle

Uchisar Rock Castle is accessible all day, every day, so you can plan your visit any day at any time. Depending on where you’re staying (many tourists in the region stay at Goreme Town), the castle is only a few minutes away. Considering the experience, you’re getting, the entrance fee is relatively cheap.

If you’re coming from Goreme, you will have to make your way through the town before getting to the castle’s entrance. If you are driving, park your car at Kesek Square before proceeding to the castle. Along the way, there are numerous souvenir shops with cute objects and traditional carpets to take back home once your trip is over. You will also get a glimpse of one of the defining features of the Cappadocian landscape, the stunning fairy chimneys.

To get to the top of the castle, you will have to go through a tunnel system and stairs. Along the way, you can explore the many rooms carved directly into the soft volcanic rock of the citadel. Inside, it has undergone extensive renovations and is fitted with Led lighting. This soft illumination gives the interior of the castle a hypnotic, magical feel.

This visit will also take you through some of the boutique hotels in the castle if you are not already staying there. You will also pass storage, a barn, and an old tandoori house along the way, but all these will be in preparation for the main highlight of the visit, which sits at the top of the castle.

At the summit, you can truly appreciate why Uchisar Rock Castle generates a lot of buzz among the local tourist population. You get to enjoy a panoramic view of the whole region and all its stunning features. You can see the entire Cappadocia, from the Goreme Open Air Museum to Avanos and Boztepe. All the valleys in the area will also be right under your view, from Kiliclar Valley all the way to Guvercinlik valley and Cavusin and Gulludere.

From the north end of the castle, visitors enjoy breathtaking views of the Cevizli fairy chimneys. On top of the castle, there are many cisterns and hollowed-out graves and cubes that visitors can explore as they enjoy the region’s magnificent view. Farther away from the castle, you can see Mount Hasan and Mount Erciyes (whose eruption created Cappadocia).

Apart from all these, the best view while on top of Uchisar Rock Castle is sunset. The magical sight of the valleys, mountains, and fairy chimneys in the region taking on a red hue as the sun sets is one that captures the hearts of those lucky enough to experience it.

Cappadocia Tours

What is Nearby

Uchisar sits in an oasis of attractions, and not far away are Goreme Open Air Museum, Zelve and Pasabag fairy chimneys, underground cities, and Idyllic towns. Therefore, remember to factor these in as you plan your day in Cappadocia.

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