Vanessa (Avanos), is a town and district of Nevşehir Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, located 18 km (11 mile) north of Nevşehir, the capital city of the province. It is situated within the historic and touristic region of Cappadocia. The district covers an area of 994 km2 (384 sq mile),with the highest point being Mt. İsmail Sivrisi at 1,756 m (5,761 ft).
The old city of Avanos, whose name in ancient times was Venessa overlooks the longest river of Turkey, the Kizilirmak (Red River), which also separates Avanos from the rest of Cappadocia.The most famous historical feature of Avanos, which is still relevant and very visible today, is its production of earthenware pottery, it is also the most economic activity in the town. The ceramic trade in this district and its countless pottery factories date right back to the Hittites.It is a popular destination because of its attractive old town with cobbled streets, and views over the river.
Avanos is about 8 km from Göreme. The town has a lively shopping center with all the usual amenities including a modern, tourist orientated hamam (Turkish Bath). A travelling market visits Avanos on Fridays.
Starting just outside the shopping center the old village of Avanos winds up the hills leading away from the town and is a beautiful maze of old stone houses, some restored, some converted and some sadly abandoned to their fate. In some of the abandoned houses the features of traditional Ottoman architecture can be seen along with ancient decorations, motifs and murals.
About 14 km from Avanos is the underground city of Özkonak and the 13th century Seljuk caravaserai, Sarihan (which is now a museum), is only about 3 km away.
The Kizilirmak, the Red River, which gets its name from the clay that it deposits, separates Avanos from the rest of Cappadocia, and is the longest river in Turkey. It is by this river that the red pottery clay is found from which Avanos derives it’s main livelihood and it’s foremost claim to fame.
Pottery has been produced in the Avanos area for several centuries and some of the techniques still used date back to Hittite times.
On one of our Cappadocia Daily Tours, we will see the demonstration of pottery by kick-wheel technique. Our guests can also try to make a pot.
PLACES TO VISIT IN CAPPADOCIA
- Goreme Open Air Museum: cave churches with frescoes
- Pasabag: mushroom-shaped fairy chimneys, monks valley
- Devrent: animal-shaped fairy chimneys, imagination valley
- Ihlara Valley: the deepest gorge of Anatolia
- Uchisar: Roman rock-cut castle
- Ortahisar: Roman rock-cut castle
- Avanos: center of pottery since the Hittites
- Zelve Open Air Museum: a cave town with churches
- Kaymakli Underground City: the largest underground city
- Derinkuyu Underground City: the deepest underground city
- Hacibektas: center of Bektasi sect of Islam
- Gulsehir: first settlements in Cappadocia
- Cave Churches: churches located in the valleys
- Caravanserais: 13th century hotels on the silk road