Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions

HISTORY

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“My love,
Your life is to be filled with spring greenery and vitality
at this mansion that has thousands of blessings”

These are the first two lines of the magic poem which are inscribed above the ancient door which connects the two mansions in this building complex. It was written by poet Fehmi Bey and dates back to the 18th Century.

The first western’s mention of the mystic gravure of Fresco Cave Suites/Cappadocia where the mansions are now centered was documented by the famous adventurer and painter Charles Texiere during his explorations of Anatolian in 1830s. To get a feel for the size and mansion complex and its surroundings you can take a short walk up to the Temenni Hill (the Wishing Hill) located in front of the main entrance of the complex, from there the panorama is marvelous and adds to the charm. Texiere describes this marvelous scene with these wordings, while he was looking towards the Fresco Cave Suites&Mansions:

“Before arriving at the dominant plateau to the region, 
I was surprised of the scene that I saw and stand for a while.
I do not think that there is another natural phenomenon in the world
which is more attractive and obvious-sharper than here”

These mansions were established at the latter part of the 18th century. The mansion at the first part (Haremlik and Selamlık) was built by Yesari Bey, who was the first mayor of Ürgüp. Buildings in the front and back side have several frescos decorating the walls. The scenes painted were only made up of floral patterns indicating that the mansions were owned by a devout Muslim. The paintings in the niches are called “gates for paradise” or “paradise curtain” a classic theme in Islamic art. Yesari Bey had these frescos painted by a Greek master. He also ordered a rerouting of the sheep herds that normally would pass his house daily on their way to waters of the Damsa creek, he was afraid the dust created by the sheep would damage the freshly painted frescos of his house.

The mansions consist of four parts; Haremlik, Selamlik, Yesari Bey and Kayakapı. Haremlik and Selamlık are one of the unique Turkish Muslim building established on the time. In the early 1900s, the second owner Akıllıoğulları family took over the mansion. Ismail Akıllı had served as mayor of Ürgüp for 13 years. The third mansion retained the name of Yesari, the first owner and first mayor of Ürgüp and it is assumed that Munise, wife of the Mufti Şeyhülislam Hayri Efendi (the chief religious official of the Ottoman Empire who has announced the World War I) lived there. In 1928, Munise Hanım and her brother donated Munise Hanım's part to the Akıllıoğlu family since they have very good relation with them then transferred to a mansion next to Fresco. Then the mansion’s name was changed to Akıllıoğulları Konağı (Mansion). In 1990, Mehmet Toybıyık bought the mansions to combine these magnificent mansions into a boutique hotel. After years of planning, research and study he and his team of artisans and craftsman began to work in 2009 to restore and yet modernize these classical pieces of Anatolian architecture without losing any of the wonderful charm. In 2011, Fresco Cave Suites/Cappadocia has been started to serve their guests. The name “Fresco” comes from the numerous frescos inside the mansions.

Fresco Cave Suites/Cappadocia has several historical and cultural values. Some of these can be summarized as below:

* Education Campaign Term, Secondary School (1948):

The big education breakthrough in 1940s was adopted by management of Ürgüp City. The Haremlik part of Fresco Cave Suites
/Cappadocia was assigned as a Secondary School in 1948. Totally 28 students were educated for 2 years in this building.

* The house of Munise Hanım, wife of the Sheikh ul-Islam Hayri Efendi :

The last Sheikh ul- Islam of (chief religious official for whole Islam world) Ottoman Empire performed Justice, Education and Donation Ministers of Ottoman Empire. He has announced the World War I. His wife, Munise Hanım, lived in part of Fresco Cave Suites
/Cappadocia consisting of restaurant, lobby and small pool. The name of the room 207 (known that she has stayed in this room) is referred Munise Hanım.

* The clean water pipes of old Ürgüp city (Prokopi) via Cave Tunnels:

Cave water tunnels for clean water were built from Kavak village (15 km away from Ürgüp) to Ürgüp and bypass the Fresco Cave Suites
/Cappadocia. Pipelines were established by Grand Vizier of Ottoman Empire in 1720. Historical ruins (it is built via pot) can still be seen in Fresco Cave Suites/Cappadocia.

* Black Stone of Cybele (Mother Goddess):

The black stone of Cybele standing at the big yard between Haremlik and Selamlık, is one of the biggest and typical stone found in Ürgüp. It can be found in lots of old Ürgüp houses and caves. It is the symbol of mother goddess of Phrygian (BC. 12 century – BC 275) Cybele.

In ancient times, bright side of the stone was placed towards the sun (as established today) and this would symbolize the bright-light of Cybele.

Since prehistoric periods, the “stone belief” was an important part of life in Sumerian, Akkadian, Babel and Egyptian societies. Stones, amulet, phylactery were agreed as fortune. There was the “God of Stone. In the Akadian Empire, the God of stone had the power as the greatest God, the God of Sun”. These types of stones were the most important ornament of temples and palaces.

Since the beliefs of high rocks-rock hills are the center-middle of the world; the high rock hill behind the Fresco Cave Suites
/Cappadocia, Kadı Castle, is the place of “Katugala” (great mother cult-adoring. Like an “altar”), increases the possibility of the usage of this stone at this rock temple (behind Fresco Cave Suites/Cappadocia).       

* Inscription

“My love,
Your life is to be filled with spring greenery and vitality at this mansion that has thousands of blessings”

Fehm, say the history word that was written like pearl piece, 
The date of this stone panel can be solved via Devr-I Şist term (equals to year 1715)”

These are the first two lines of the magic poem that stands on the inscription above the ancient door which connects the two mansions in this building complex. It was written by poet Fehmi and dates back to the first quarter of 1700 based on the Ebced calculation (a kind of cryptical writing techniques used in ottoman scripts).

* Fresco (Wall paintings):

It is done via pigments which are mixed with a kind of binding material (like water or lime) over the wet lime. Although this method seems easy, painting is very difficult via using this methodology. In order to be durable and long lasting, the stucco (lime layer) should be prepared very well.

The founder of Haremlik and Selamlık part of Fresco Cave Suites
/Cappadocia paid 1 gold coin (equals apprx. 100 $) for 1 meter fresco. The Greek masters had performed an excellent job. On the other hand, the mansions were allocated on a passage (windy) and it was on the way of sheep herds. In order to protect the frescos, the second owner of the mansions bribed the shepherd to pass his sheep herd from another way (far away from the mansions and the routes were determined based on the wind route). By the way, the dust of the sheep herds did not damage the frescos.

* Delicate Stone Mastership

You can understand that the stone masters had processed the stones like writing a poem or painting when you look these handiworks carefully. Indeed, these masters are inscribing their feelings, emotions, promises, pleasures and grief on these stones. For years, they were the witness of dumps and pleasures, tirelessly, no melting and no frazzling.             

* Old Cave Houses and Small Caravanserai:

The voyagers passing from Ürgüp could accommodate in this small cave caravanserai till 1970 (caravanserai is something like a hotel which the passengers can accommodate with their animals (horses, camels, donkeys etc. )The caravanserai, which ancient water pipes passes in, had big barns for horses, donkey or camels and cave rooms for guests beside this barn. 

Additionally, since Fresco Cave Suites/Cappadocia is at the old city center, it is very close to natural, cultural and historical monuments. These are summarized at “attraction leaflets” at the “brochure” link on web page.

Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions