Horse barn in historic settlement becomes museum
A horse barn, discovered by archaeologists in Kayaşehir, will be reorganized as the Natural History Museum. Kayaşehir is a historical rock-cut hillside settlement that was discovered by chance during the urban transformation works carried out by the Housing Development Administration (TOKİ) seven years ago in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir.
After the cleaning and restoration work that has been carried out since 2014, work continues in Kayaşehir, which opened to visitors in July last year.
Declared as a third-degree archaeological site by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the area with a rock-cut church, passage tunnels and many rock chambers is preparing to become one of the important tour routes of Cappadocia.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Nevşehir Mayor Mehmet Savran said that Kayaşehir has an important tourism potential.
Stating that the area created a different route that attracts tourists coming to the Cappadocia region within a short time, Savran said that it would become a popular spot for visitors with new projects.
Speaking about the works they carry out within the scope of accessible tourism, Savran said, “Kayaşehir has given us a new breath. We give great importance to this place as it is one of the spots in Cappadocia tourism. We have contacts with many tour companies regarding the inclusion of this historical area in their tour programs. Kayaşehir will become a fascinating environment thanks to the projects we will implement. We have an accessible tourism project in the area. Our visitors who have disabilities will come by themselves until a certain distance. We will give them the feeling of wandering in certain areas with various technologies.”
Archaeologist Semih İstanbulluoğlu, who is responsible for the works carried out in the area, also stated that new tunnels and living spaces are being unearthed in the settlement, which covers an area of approximately 400,000 square meters.”
Pointing out that the visitors of the site embark on a historical journey, İstanbulluoğlu said that the travel route will become more enjoyable with the museum established a few meters below the ground through the tunnels.
He said that the areas opened to tourism have a history of 1,500 years, adding, “We are extending Kayaşehir’s sightseeing routes and are adding new units. Under the leadership of the Nevşehir Governor’s Office, we turn a horse barn into the Natural History Museum to display geological materials such as rocks, ores and fossils unearthed during the excavations in the Cappadocia region and throughout Turkey. The lighting works are finished; we will open it to visitors very soon. The rock-carved hillside settlement will become an underground city with new additions and arrangements. People here will be able to feel the underground city completely.”
Stating that the archaeological works are continuing in Kayaşehir, İstanbulluoğlu added that there may also be situations that will change the known history of the area.