CAPPADOCIAN CIVIL ARCHITECTURE
19th century Cappadocian houses were built on hill sides, either carved out of the rock or built from large cut stones. Volcanic stone is the only architectural material in the region used for building ; it is soft when extracted and can therefore easily be cut and shaped. It hardens on contact with air to form a very resistant material. The abundance of stone in the area, and the ease of use have created a building technique unique to the area.
Wood is used for courtyard gates and the houses' doors. Rosette and ivy patterns are used as decorations above the arched doors.
The areas between floors are decorated in up to three rows of rosettes, fans, stars, palmet, weather vanes and stylized plant patterns.
Windows are grouped in twos and threes and stylized plant patterns are also used as decorative borders. Two types of windows are used, either two panes opening separately or guillotine style.
In both types of houses there are numerous living rooms, a kitchen, cellar, store room, an oven (tandir), wine vat etc. Niches found in the guest rooms are decorated with paintings of vases full of flowers under silk, tasselled curtains, scenes from nature or women filling, or carrying water vessels. These scenes are painted on plaster.
The most interesting examples of local architecture belong to the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Examples can be found all over the region, but particularly in Ürgüp, Ortahisar, Mustafapasa, Bashisar, Goreme, Avanos, and in Guzeloz and nearby Baskoy in the province of Kayseri and in Guzelyurt in the vicinity of Ihlara Canyon.