The 3,200-year-old Phrygian rock houses in the Seben district of northern Turkey's Bolu take visitors on a journey through history, away from the crowds during the coronavirus pandemic. The rock-carved houses offer the chance of a unique holiday surrounded by nature.
The houses on a hill in the Solaklar village, consist of rooms that are believed to have been carved by hand by the Phrygians. The four-story structure was restored by the Seben Municipality. During the restoration, three newer cave houses, similar to the original ones, and eight bungalows for accommodation were also built on an area of 20,000 square meters (216,000 square feet).
The restored rock-carved houses are now ready to welcome visitors on days when there is no COVID-19 curfew in Bolu, which is also a popular destination for nature lovers due to its lakes and forests.
Seben Mayor Fatih Kavak told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the district attracts visitors thanks to its nature and history. He noted that the district of Seban houses many significant places along with the historical rock houses, he said they are working to make these historical assets visible.
Among the must-see places in the district is Çeltikdere Church. It was made of cut stone and brick in accordance with the classical religious architecture of the middle Byzantine period (842-1204). There is also Kınıkçı Canyon, which offers one of the best hiking trails in Turkey, with its deep valleys. Seben is also home to Taşlıyayla Lake and Hoçaş Petrified Forest, which are also known as the Seben Fossil Research Forest and where a total of 54 fossilized trees have been identified.
Kavak said due to all these locations, the district draws the attention of nature lovers, hikers and other nature sports enthusiasts alike.
"The holy month of Ramadan is also around the corner. Therefore, we will provide our guests an opportunity to have iftar, a dinner to mark the breaking of the daily fast, in an area of 250-300 square meters inside our rock-carved houses' ground floors. Visitors can have their iftar in historical rock houses this year if they wish," Mayor Kavak said.
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