The Cappadocia Underground Ceramic Museum in the central Anatolian province of Nevşehir is the World’s first rock-carved underground ceramic museum displaying nearly 500 pieces. The museum opened its doors in April 2014, thanks to the 20-year-old dream of Mr. Güray Tüysüz. He is from a family that has been producing ceramics and pots for five generations in Avanos, Cappadocia.
Pottery production in Avanos dates back to Hittite times to 2000 BC., and still there is a mass of family run potteries in the region, however it lacked a museum to display and teach this rich heritage to the visitors. To be able to show what has been done in Anatolia for ceramic production since the early ages, Güray Seramik started carving the rock under their factory to create this museum 5 years ago. The Güray Ceramic Museum, today, sits in a large series of newly tunneled out caves covering an area of 1,500 square meters and is 15 meters underground. The display niches cut into the rock, can be considered as natural works of art on their own.
The museum, which is clearly a work of love, consists of three sections:
The first section displays original historical artifacts from Anatolia and Near East from first era until 20th century that has been gathered by the family in 20 years. The most amazing pieces of this ancient ceramics hall, are the pieces from as far back as the Chalcolithic era.
The second section, modern age, displays pieces from more recent centuries made by world renowned artists, and information on their life and work.
The third section is a hall for exhibitions or art events. While the museum is open in the morning hours, the venue will be hosting meetings, seminars, music concerts and private dinners in the evening. The museum also has a café and a library in this section, where visitors can rest by the fireplace while enjoying their drinks and reading up on pottery.
Visitors may go separately as well as together with a group. If you happen to be around, make sure you pay a visit: you will definitely enjoy your visit to this incomparable gift for future generations, and get informed about the different techniques of traditional ceramics. If you are lucky enough, you can also see a local expert demonstrating his skills in pottery making, and maybe even try it yourself.
Until then, you can get an idea of the museum, from this video: