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Sille - Lystra ( Kilistra )- Catalhoyuk Tour, Archaeological Tours

Sille - Lystra - Catalhoyuk Tour


We pick you up from your hotel in Konya at about 9.00 and drive to ancient village called Sille. 

Sille is a small Turkish village, near Konya.

Sille  was one of the few villages where the Cappadocian Greek language was spoken until 1922. It was inhabited by Greeks who had been living in Sille in peaceful coexistence with the nearby Turks of Konya, for over 800 years.

The reason for this peaceful coexistence was Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, who was the witness of a miracle that happened at the nearby Orthodox Christian monastery of Saint Chariton. In the Turkish language the monastery is now called Ak Monastir and is translated as, "White Monastery". Jalal al-Din Rumi constructed a small mosque inside the Saint Chariton monastery; he asked the Turks not to hurt the Greeks .The coexistence of Sille Greeks with the nearby Turks remained very peaceful, that is why the villagers managed to preserve for over eight centuries both their native Greek language and their Orthodox Christian religion.

We will see fairy chimneys in Sille and Churches, we can walk till Sille Dam.

After we finish our visit in Sille, we will drive to Lystra (Kilistra)- Gökyurt.You will see untouched nature, bare fields, the landscape envied even by the nature, tradational Anatolian villages, welcoming local people. Arrive in Kilistra Village.

The settlement in Kilistra is believed to be established first during the Hellenistik and Roman Times(BC 2nd century- AD 3rd century) according to result of the archeological works.

Kilistra, during the Byzantine age (BC 8th century- AD 13th century), also appears to have rock- carved settlement similar to the ones in Cappadocia. Lystra, one of the Anatolian cities, is on the way between Ikonion (Konya) and Pisda Antiocheia (Yalvaç). It's on the famous King's Road. St. Paulos, whose name is mentioned in the Bible, is believed to have stopped by on his journey. Timotoes, to whom the messenger Paulos sent his letters, is also from Lystra.

The name given to the region, today"Paulönü", where the "Sümbül"ini church is located, is an evidence that his name is still being remembered.

The people of Lystra, who had accepted Christianity during the Roman times, are believed to have chosen the mountainous terrain to protect themselves against assaults from the Paganists masses and looters. One of the most important hidden cities that is explored is Kilistra.

Today the people of Gökyurt are settled on the archaic city of Kilistra. The excavations reveal that during the Byzantium period, Turks lived together with the natives of the Kilistra. There is also evidence that the nomadic tribes who mostly raised animals had been made to live there during the Ottoman period.

The other entrance of the King's route going over to the west also has an observing tower and police station. There is also a cistern where you'll find "Kapçı cave" which was used in pottery making in the latest periods. There is also village mension nearby in the village center where you can get things such as food, drinks, etc.

The next main site is the Sümbül church, called the "Paulönü Location" by the villagers. It is south- west of the village mansion. To the west of the village mansiyon you can visit the cistern (Katirini), double- wine houses (must- house) in the söğütlü stream bed and irrigation trenches. In the Paulönü location one can view all the tones of green and see nature and history side by side in the valley.

 Kilistra archaic city was set up during early Byzantium ages on five different places in accordance with the natural rock formation in the region. Concealment is the main goal in the establishment costruction of the rock carved city. From the exterior, the settlement appears to be a natural rock but in interior there are large carved spaces. Illumination and ventilation had been provided by hidden loopholes. In the site there are religious buildings (i.e. chapels and churches), public buildings (i.e. houses, cisterns, fountains, wine - houses, etc.), and buildings for defense and security purposes (i.e. watch towers, garrison and shelters).

The living urbanized structure is slope style houses suitable to the topographic structures. While the people carry on using the ready- made old spaces in the architect carved in the rocks by changing their functions, they use the stones cut from the rocks as the main materials and shaped the buildings. The buildings are in stone from the bottom to the top, and have large rooms and flat roofs.

The rock formation, resembling fairy chimneys, formed by the volcanic tuff capped rocks still continues through the valley where the village is located. The valley is seen as if it were a forest of rocks, and gives panoramic views from the watching places in the settlement area. All tones of green are seen in the vicinity which is covered with vegetation that has local characteristics in the four seasons. The vegetation structure is scrub species mostly seen at tye foot of Taurus Mountains. The oak forests consisting of ash tree, Mediterranean medlar, wild pear, wild plum, oleaster and rose hip trees with walnut, almond trees give wonderful natural view. The wild life in the forest structure cotinues in full variety.

After we finish our visit in the ancient village Lystra ( Kilistra ),we will stop for lunch in a local restaurant that serves famous local '' Konya Etliekmek '' with local drink called Ayran.

Our next stop will be ancient city Çatalhöyük.


Çatalhöyük, a 9000 year old town, one of the largest and most complex early centres of settled life.
A very different type of society in which woman may have played a central role. The early use of pottery and metals, the remarkable preservation of wooden bowls and textiles; the early use of domesticated plats and animals.

Catalhoyuk  which  is  an  ancient  city   its  history  goes  back  till  7000 BC.

The  Neolithic  site  of  Çatalhöyük  was  first  discovered  in  the  late  1950s  and  excavated  by  James  Mellaart between  1961  and  1965. The  site  rapidly  became  famous  internationally due  to  the  large  size and  dense occupation  of  the  settlement, as  well  as  the  spectacular  wall  paintings  and  other  art  that was  uncovered inside  the  houses.

Since  1993  an  international  team  of  archaeologists, led  by  Ian  Hodder, has  been  carrying  out  new excavations  and  research, in  order  to  shed  more  light  on  the  people  that  inhabited  the  site.


After  Catalhoyuk  Tour  we  will  drive  back  to  Konya.



Price:                  ( Private  Tour )