Turkey's Cappadocia region is famous for its spectacular landscapes, fairy chimneys and painted churches cut into the rock.
The richest concentration of beautifully-decorated cave churches is in the Göreme Open Air Museum, an entire volcanic valley full of them, well-preserved and open to the public.
But what about cave homes? In the past, it was only possible to visit a real troglodyte residence if you were acquainted with the homeowner.
In recent years, my colleague Pat Yale and longtime Göreme resident Ruth Lockwood of Tribal Collections Nomadic Rugs & Textiles have teamed to open doors to some of their town's most interesting cave homes, and to preserve the unique troglodyte lifestyle of the town of Göreme at the same time.
Pat and Ruth usually organize cave house tours each spring and fall. The tour lasts about two to three hours, for a small donation.
If you have the opportunity to participate in a tour, t’s a rare opportunity to see not just what traditional cave houses looked like but also what can be done to turn them into comfortable modern homes. There is a fee for the tours, and all of the money goes to the Old Göreme Restoration Fund in support of historic preservation.
Cave house tours are offered only a few days each year, and the number of places is quite limited. If you are in Capppadocia on one of those days, I urge you to grab this rare opportunity for a peek into a thousand-year-old lifestyle...with all the modern conveniences.
Please note that most houses have a lot of stairs and some may be unsuitable for anyone with cat allergies. The tours are not suitable for children under 12.
To reserve your place, contact Ruth or Pat:
Tel +90 (384) 271 2400
+90 (384) 271 2916
—by Tom Brosnahan
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