Avanos

Avanos is a town and district of Nevsehir Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey. It is the pottery centre of Cappadocia. It is situated within the historic and touristic region of Cappadocia. The city is set on the banks of the Kizilirmak, meaning the Red River. The river gets its name from the clay that it deposits – the caly that is used for the pottery Avanos is famous for.

==== AVANOS – SPECIALTY

The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and very visible today, is its production of earthenware pottery. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date right back to the Hittites, and the ceramic clay from the red silt of the Kizilirmak has always been used. It is a popular destination because of its attractive old town with cobbled streets, and superb views over the river.

==== AVANOS – SIGHTSEEING

Zelve – Zelve is the area in Cappadocia with the highest concentration of fairy chimneys. Here, they have particularly sharp points and thick trunks. It is not known exactly when people began living in the dwellings carved into the rock.

Cavusin (Nicephorus Phocas) Church – This church is located alongside Goreme-Avanos road at a distance of 2.5 km (1.6 mi) leaving from Goreme. The church’s narthex is missing. It has tunnel vaults, a high nave and 3 apses. It dates back to 964-965 AD.

Gulludere (St. Agathangelus) Church – It is located in the far left draw of the Gulludere valley about 2 km (1 mi) from the village of Cavusin. It was founded at the mouth of the draw on top of a steep slope. The design of the nave is square with a flat ceiling and it has a single broad apse. The apse was added in the 9th or 10th century to the main structure dating back to the 6th – 7th century. There are 2 or 3 layers of frescoes in the apse which indicates that it was painted regularly. Symbols of Gospel authors are drawn symmetrically and are sitting on the right and left of an enthroned Jesus.

Ozkonak Underground City – Located 14 km northeast of Avanos, this underground city was built on the northern slopes of Mt. Idis in an area with lots of strata made up of volcanic granite. The extensive galleries of the city are spread out over a large area and connected to each another by tunnels. Unlike the underground cities in Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, there are very narrow (5 cm) and long holes between the different levels of the city that used to provide communication between the different levels of the city. The ventilation of these neatly carved out rooms was provided by these holes when the city was sealed up against enemies. The city was discovered in 1972 by the local muezzin and farmer Latif Acar, when trying to find out where the water disappeared to when tending to his crops.

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