Open Palace (Açıksaray) Ruins
Açıksaray is located in Gülşehir town of central Cappadocia, 25 km away from Göreme.
Açık Saray (open palace) ruins is one of the cave complexes of Cappadocia, dating to 9th - 10th century (estimated). Along a stream line of tuff stone, many cave sections were carved out for different purposes. It was a diocese settlement of the area and that's why you can monasterys and churches while you're walking in the museum today. Besides these, of course, you may see many other caves as graves of the Roman era, storages, stalls, multi-storied sections (possibly houses) and etc. In history, it's known of the Byzantine Emperor, Nicephorus Phocas, who camped in the area during the raids of Abbasids in 964-965.
Unfortunately, the decoration of the caves here are just red ochre paintings and a cross carved on the ceiling of Cathedral.
Of course, it was a kind of station for the all men of God on their way from west to East but by some academics consider here to be a trade station, too, because of the number of the stalls in the settlement.
Today, it's popular because this is where you can see the mushroom formation. You may see some of the formations of mushroom-shaped, like the ones in Dervent Valley but this is the most amazing one.
As last, we recommend you to visit here early in the morning to have the best light and the cave church of St. George is really close to Açıksaray. As one of the best-preserved cave churches of Cappadocia, don't miss it!