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Avanos

Avanos is a small Cappadocian town of artisans famous for their ancient pottery tradition and proximity to one of the most famous attractions of Cappadocia - rock city of Zelve.

The old town of Avanos is located eighteen kilometers North-East of Nevsehir, next to the valley of the Kyzyl-Irmak (Red river) - longest river of Turkey (1151 km). The name of the river due to the color of the water on this segment of its course. This is due to the fact that its bed is rich in iron ore and red clay, which is all pottery of Avanos. The Hittites called this river Messantia - it was the border of their Empire, and in the Hellenistic period it was called Khalis. In Hittite times was born, and the city itself, who was then a frontier Outpost and a major trading center, famous for its potters.

Due to the loose clay soil no cave churches or stone mushrooms in Avanos there. But it occupies a strategic location in Central Cappadocia - Zelve before (6 km), Çavuşin (6 km) and walking distance to Goreme (10 km), and the Ozkonak is a local bus (25 km).

The town of Avanos has a fairly ancient history: discovered human settlements in the vicinity date back to the bronze age, as evidenced by the excavation of Toprakli - ancient burial ground. Avanos famous for its pottery, made here in the 3rd Millennium BC, even after many centuries.

Despite the fact that numerous Greek, Armenian and Ottoman building has a Terrace and scenic cozy streets of the old quarters are quite interesting in themselves, the real local landmark of this city is pottery made by master potters.

Local craftsmen make beautiful pottery, which is decorated with geometric patterns and floral designs. This ornament can also be found in carpets, traditionally made in Avanos. The production of carpets are not only workshops, but also some of the local women who weave them at home, using wool and silk threads. Masters with incredible patience stretched, tied in knots these strands, and then twist them on wooden makeshift machines.

These local products often can be seen on the streets of the town houses on the background characteristic of the Muslim architecture of old buildings of tufa blocks, on the facades which often was an open loggia. On the main square of Avanos is a monument depicting a Potter, near which women work at the loom. Every year the city hosts the festival, which celebrated urban artists and exhibit the best examples of ceramics. At the festival you can hear folk songs and music, and also see the dances in traditional costumes.

In the picturesque old quarters has dissipated a great many tiny workshops, where you can buy pottery made on the technology used fifteen centuries ago. It should be noted that the craftsmen work with natural light, the dishes are dried only under the open sky. After several days of drying under sun ware is fired in an oven for ten hours at a temperature of about 950-1200 °C.

This town is mentioned in recent years, mainly thanks to a unique hair Museum created by Chez Galip - skilled Turkish Potter, which is considered one of the most bizarre museums in the world. Under the workshop of Galip is an unusual exhibition, consisting of hair about sixteen thousand girls and women. The ceiling, walls and other surfaces, except the floor, cover the locks of hair that had previously belonged to various ladies who have been once in this place, and pieces of paper with their addresses. It all began about thirty years ago in such circumstances. A friend of Galip was leaving Avanos, and he was very upset by the breakup with her. So it wasn't so sad, she snapped and left him at the memory of his hair. Over the years, Potter has amassed a large collection of curls and addresses women from all over the world.

Twice a year, in December and June, the first visitor to this shop, I invite you down to ten so-called "winners wall." These lucky ladies get week fully paid tour of Cappadocia, and they are free to try to make yourself anything in the Studio of Chez Galip. In this way, the Potter thanked the women for helping him to create this stunning Museum, visited daily by new visitors. Entrance to the Museum is free. Women are not obliged to sacrifice their hair, but if anyone of them wish to do so, the Galip to always have on hand scissors, pen, paper, Scotch tape and pins.

On the North side, over the Central part of Avanos, hangs a long cliff, above which is a large terrace covered with fields and cemetery. To find a way into it from urban development will have to work hard, but it's worth it as you get to the most spectacular place of Avanos. Especially beautiful scenery opens from there at sunset. View in South direction of the mountains on the other side of a huge valley of Kyzyl-Irmak undoubtedly worth to climb.