Will you go to Cappadocia instead of Italy for a mystical journey in Renaissance? Can we make a journey with Nietzsche, Dante? If we want so much, will the universe help us? Sacred House in Urgup helps us to make brain exercise from history to religion, arts and philosophy. It extends the imagination and makes us fly to other universes… CAPPADOCIA, is such a region which grip visitors imagination… Each fairy chimney resembling different faces, characters, images can drive your mind crazy. And after a balloon ride, you are no longer the person you were before! When I first went there years ago (about 25 years) we had stayed in country houses with toilets outside and we did have a great adventure. Zero comfort but thousands of stories… As we grow older, we would like to sleep in more comfortable beds and start the day in better bathrooms. However we don’t want stories to diminish while comfort is increasing. What is the common feature of hotel rooms? Does it depend on price, star, mass tourism or special customers but most hotel rooms can be characterized by you. They don’t have spirits. This place exactly the opposite, it is full of spirit. It is like a film plateau or an ancient underground city with columns, statues, antiques and paintings. Attributing to Dante’s Inferno the Spa also evokes Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. A surreal atmosphere … Most valuable first editions of famous thinkers in the library … Each corner takes you away to another period, life and world. To mystical realms. It confuses your mind. Thrills you. Makes you restless. Charms you. Plays with your psychology. Confuses you what to think. Where is here? It is the secret base of Renaissance, Nietzsche, philosophy, mysticism, aesthetic eclecticism in Urgup, Dutlu Camii district! An elusive style, a unique hotel: Sacred House. The story began 13 years ago, when Turan Gülcüoğlu, who says that Istanbul city life has thrown him away from the system so that he came to Cappadocia and started working as an executive in an hotel, restored a 250 years old Greek mansion . “It was ruined” says 42 years old Gülcüoğlu. ” One day, while sitting on the terrace I said to myself ‘I will make here the most beautiful hotel in the world. Then I started reading, working, dealing with art… ” Engineer? Architect? Art historian? None of them. But certainly an interesting person with a different mind. ” I produce instinctively” he says. “The Renaissance period is very important to me. I feel like I belong to that period. Because there is an incredible awakening to art. I have always tried to understand the complex ideas in my life; like Nietzsche, Sartre, Schopenhauer… I have tried very hard to understand what existential philosophy and aesthetics mean. Why beautiful and ugly? There is a discipline in the universe and aesthetics. Aesthetics cannot exist without discipline. ” DOORS OF PERCEPTION IS ON Well, is it possible what you see without education? He is genius ok but how come he successes all of these? “In university, I was feeling stuck, suffering from labor spiritually… My grandmother was an interesting woman who had studied Language and Literature. I raised me with arias. She used to say ‘Turan, if you wish something very much, than all universe will work together to bring it back to you. You only need to wish and dream. ‘ When you wish with all your heart, universe helps you.” How come? If we also wish, can we make a hotel like this when we wake up one day? Normally no… But Turan Gülcüoğlu puts himself in abnormal conditions: “I didn’t sleep at all for two years. Every night I drew something and put it in front of masters. I had to vomit, something had to come out of my throat. ” He is franticly reading. He spend all his money on this issue. Also his health. He had heart attacks twice, he remained seriously without money and he went through many difficulties. Finally, he completes the first part of the seven rooms. Oh! Then he wants to extend the hotel. He meets Dorak Holding and they become partners. Real ‘oh’ is here. Afterwards the Sacred House is awarded for two separate grand prizes by Conde Nast Johansens: ‘Most Excellent Hotel for Design and Innovation’ and ‘Most Excellent European Service’ . Now there are 21 rooms with different names, feelings and characters. Each one belongs to a different period and culture but they are all magnificent, amazing, astonishing … Common issue is the absence of TV…”I really believed that people need something sacred” says Gülcüoğlu. “I mean life was something more than a house and two cars. I liked it to be a little more whispering, with stories from the past, where people talk with each other. That why I didn’t include television.” Children are also not allowed to ‘Sacred House’. . faith, history, culture, philosophy … Art, aesthetics, virtue, existence… They would like to interact with people who think over these concepts and would like to rest their heads. Also to people “whose perception doors are open”: ” The balance of the universe is based on positive and negative, good and bad. There is no gray, “says Gülcüoğlu. ” Through all my life, I tried to have a spirit of a chevalier. I wanted this hotel to be a greeting area for people whose perception doors are open and who could succeeded to be good.” Medieval Menu; you cannot serve Club Sandwich in such a hotel of course. There is a restaurant named Angels & the Searchers in Sacred House. Chef Engin Kolsuzoğlu who came from İzmir after working 16 years in Hilton is responsible from the kitchen. Frustrated by the buffet system, constantly scanning written sources and a curious researcher. What a timely meeting. They have created three different menus considering that visitors coming to Cappadocia stays for mostly 3 days: Medieval, Italian, Anatolian. The most interesting one is the Medieval of course… Chef Engin is telling with excitement how he uses pungent spices such as cinnamon and clove, Siyami the special appetizer that he made on special occasions, how he interprets what. They do not use materials rather than the ones that grow in the area in that period. In Armenian style Borç Soup there are a plenty of red beets which gives the color also. It is served with water buffalo yogurt and makes you surprised with the taste. Garum Sauced Quail Eggs, is a meal which Chevaliers and warriors used to eat to gain strength, “the vinegar and honey do not seem to fit to our taste at first but when you combine these flavors in the right amounts the meal becomes delicious.” says Chef Engin. Columella salad, the name has been taken from a medieval writer living in Rome. It comprises of more than 20 plants like valerian, mint, cilantro and served with two different souces. Olive oil-lemon sauce, with intense consistency. What attracted me the most is the smoked sauce made from unused parts to be discarded of roasted eggplant. Interpretation of the chef. It is admirable to see such an anti-wastage behavior in the kitchen.