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Hallac Hospital Monastery


The Hallac Hospital Monastery is located in a serene valley, northeast of Ortahisar town in Nevsehir, Turkey. It is a historic complex that was once used as a monastery and a hospital for those in need. Today, it is a popular destination for those interested in exploring the history and architecture of Cappadocia.

To get to the Hallac Hospital Monastery, there are several options. If you are staying in the nearby town of Ortahisar, you can take a taxi or rent a car to drive to the site. Alternatively, many Jeep Safari Tours include a visit to the monastery as part of their itinerary. If you are traveling from further afield, you can fly into the nearest airport, Kayseri Erkilet Airport, and take a taxi or shuttle bus to the site.

Once you arrive at the monastery, you will find a complex with several different areas to explore. The central feature of the complex is a three-sided courtyard with some pigeon houses on elevated rock levels. However, you may notice that over one meter of silt has accumulated in the courtyard due to decades of neglect.

Behind the north façade, you will find two square rooms measuring 4 by 4 meters flanking the long central hall. These rooms likely served as living spaces for people. The west room was originally carved as a recessed area with elaborate decoration, but later it was used to house pigeons and other animals.

The central hall follows the basilica plan, with a barrel-vaulted room flanked by flat side-aisles. The circular ceiling springs from a protruding molding along both sides. At each end of the space, an arch creates an apse at either end of the long rectangular room. These apses were likely used for religious purposes.

The smaller room (8 by 12 meters) on the west side of the complex is in poor condition, but it was once a large private chapel accessible through doorways outside and inside of its walls. The northwestern corner entrance led into an L-shaped cross-in-square arrangement with a central dome, reminiscent of nave architecture.

One of the most interesting features of the complex is the strange person figure hanging from the east arch. This is the only human figure carved into the rock in Cappadocia, and it is believed to have been created by a Georgian mason who immigrated to Cappadocia during the construction of this church or by local artists reflecting on what they had seen in Georgian architecture around them.

Towards the south of the complex, you will find a large room that once housed a kitchen. This square space was designed with a cone-shaped ceiling and a chunk of burnt rock for smoke to escape through. Rooms are lined along the upper level, which were likely used for storage or additional living spaces.

In conclusion, the Hallac Hospital Monastery is a fascinating historical complex with many unique features to explore. To get there, you can take a taxi or rent a car from the nearby town of Ortahisar, join a Jeep Safari Tour, or take a taxi or shuttle bus from Kayseri Erkilet Airport. Once you arrive, you will find a complex with several different areas to explore, including the central courtyard, the living spaces, the central hall, the private chapel, and the kitchen area. Be sure to take some time to appreciate the unique features of the complex, such as the strange person figure hanging from the east arch.

Cappadocia Taxi

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