The Village of Ortahisar

Main Page

Main Street in OrtahisarThis is the main street of Ortahisar -- pretty much all of it. You're looking at the mosque at the end of the street and the famous landmark of the town in the background, the hisar of Ortahisar. As you walk along these streets in the daytime, you can buy vegetables, eat a delicious local version of pizza, say hello to Crazy Ali at the end of the street, peek inside the onyx factory showroom full of little figures and onyx chessboards and pieces -- and then climb the castle. Over 200 feet of iron steps hammered into the rock. Lots of people do it. I can't imagine why.

The hisar or castle was used as a place for townspeople to hide from invaders throughout the ages, and the original village, lived in as recently as 30 years ago, huddles as close as it can get to the base. When huge pieces of stone broke off and plummeted down, the village moved around to the other, more stable side of the hisar where it is now.

Next: Crazy Ali.