Urgup is one of the major centres in Cappadocia. It has a permanent population of around twelve thousand people and is a thriving centre of trade and tourism, offering a host of hotels and motels to the traveller and a wide range of carpets and handcrafts for sale.
Urgup is 17 km. from Nevsehir by well surfaced road. The town is nestled at the foot of a large rock formation riddled with old dwellings and storage rooms. It serves as an excellent base from which to tour the sights of Cappadocia and in Urgup itself you can still see how people once dwelled in houses carved into the rocks.
Now adays the houses are built from the local rock which is made into large buildings blocks. These homes are both attractive and practical and in fact a good example of such a house has been set aside by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and serves as the Urgup museum.
Urgup is a very old town, and has had a long and colourful history. In ancient times it was known as Ossianna and later under the Seldjuks Bashisar. There are a number of historic sights and relics in Urgup. One of the most striking is the tomb of KILICASLAN perched on top of the highest hill in Urgup. It was built in the 11 th century Ibrahim Pasa, the vizier of Nevsehir, built the fountains in Urgup and some of these are still in use today.
Before the Ottoman conquest, Urgup was a Christian centre. The troglodyte dwellings were carved by the early Christians as refuges. The rich Chiristian history gave way to the Islamic tradition and Urgup has many Islamic relics. The Taskinpasa mosque and mousoleum (built by Kara Mahmut Taskinpasa in 1324) is an excellent example of Islamic architecture. Kemal Ataturk later had it transfered to the Museum of Ankara, another mosque The Keyhusrev dates to the 13th century and the tomb of Grand Mufti Hayri is located with in it's walls.
Urgup is conveniently located near many of the fairy chimney valleys. The majority of capped chimneys are only one kilometre from town on the way to Nevsehir, perhaps more than others these Fairy Chimneys have become a symbol of Cappadocia.