Babayan Culture House
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Babayan Culture House, Cappadocia, Turkey
workshops art


Decorations cut from the 200 year old facade of the house

since 2006!

The Babayan Culture House is closed in Turkey. We will continue in the Netherlands and inform through this website, email and intermediating organisations.
In the Babayan Culture House, Cappadocia, Turkey you can stay in all seasons except in the winter. This former village farmhouse has comfortable cave rooms in an authentic Turkish village. The residency is the starting point for the most beautiful walkings in a fascinating nature. One can get inspired and make art or follow an art workshop in good studios. The Babayan Culture House is a professional community based art–residency and welcomes artists from all over the world.

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The house is in Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a surrealistic landscape with tufa stone valleys, shaped centuries ago by the 'Erciyes' and other volcanoes. A part of this 40.000 square km area is a national park and an open–air museum with many rock churches and monasteries, restored by UNESCO, because it is an official world heritage area: Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia.
On the – 1000 meter high – Anatolian Plateau, where the village is located, a severe land climate rules. This gives a dry heat in the summer and a bitter cold in the winter. Despite this, one can live here very well throughout the year, because the thick stones the houses are built with, are cut from volcanic tufa which keeps the climate outside. If a house is not heated, the temperature inside fluctuates during the year between seven and eighteen degrees Celsius. For this reason the region has been inhabited from times immemorial; and because the famous silk route passed by here, the area has a very rich cultural inheritance.

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The Babayan Culture House is closed in Turkey. We will continue in the Netherlands and inform through this website, email and intermediating organisations.
The residence of the Babayan Culture House is situated in the small historical village of Ibrahimpasa (the Greek name is Babayan) in Cappadocia, Central Anatolia in Turkey.
The 200 hundred–year–old cavehouse was successively inhabited by Armenians, Greeks and Turks.
The house has three terraces, an inside courtyard, rooms with arched ceilings and cave rooms. In May 2006 it openend its doors to share the cave residence with artists and other guests. Restoration took place under the guidance of the archaeological museum of the province Nevsehir. Pictures of the restoration.

Three large (200 Kb each) airviews of Ibrahimpasa village.

Some cave rooms are large (50 m²) and boast a kitchenette and a well–facilitated studio; other rooms profit from a large private balcony or terrace with incredible views of the valley.
The rooms have central heating and double glazed windows for colder days. You can bring your laptop computer because we have a wireless adsl–internet connection. Also we have an online computer available for general use.

The Salon sitting room is a large arched room for common use with an open fireplace, a small library, a lazy corner, a reading and dinner table, and a kitchen where we can prepare your daily meals on request.
Also a village meal from the Tandir (clay) oven can be enjoyed in our local restaurant. In neighboring villages one finds lots of good restaurants and bars.

Newsletters Babayan Culture House Foundation:
1 – August 2007,
2 – December 2007,
3 – December 2008,
4 – October 2009.
From 2009 onwards we update regularly through the public Babayan Culture House AiR facebook page. If you interested to become a member of the closed Babayan Culture House AiR facebook group (more informative), please send us a request through that page.

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Cappadocia is an area where one can easily spend a number of weeks. Daily walks take you through lovely valleys with views of old Christian rock churches and painted pigeon'castles'.
The world–famous open air museums of Göreme and Zelve can be visited. And you can swim in the nearby hot water springs of Bayramhaci, this visit can be combined with a lovely bbq. In the town of pottery, Avanos one can stroll along the river Kizilirmak (Red River). Our neighboring villages Ortahisar and Uchisar have high rocks (castles) which can be climbed from the inside and give a magnificent view of the bizarre landscape of Cappadocia. The underground cities (twelve levels below ground) of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu can be visited, as well as the green valley of Ihlara.
Also bird watching ('Birds Paradise') in the salt lake near the volcano Erciyes is a possibility, as is horse riding in nature, swimming in a storage lake with blue clean water, and ballooning.
Pictures of the trips and trekkings.

Slideshow of 'Flower Power' in Cappadocian spring (photo's Willemijn):

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The Babayan Culture House is closed in Turkey. We will continue in the Netherlands and inform through this website, email and intermediating organisations.
Artists and all other art–interested guests can relate to the beautiful nature by drawing, painting, stone carving, photography and pottery making in the well–equiped Avanos studios. Especially the stone carving is a specialty of this region due to the fact that there is the natural material made of tufa, the millions of years compressed ashes of the volcanic outbursts. This light material can be worked on by everybody with an eye for shapes. All necessary materials will be provided.
From the house you walk directly into nature with its bizarre valleys and ancient open–air rock churches: the painted iconographic remains of Christianity. Donkey path's lead to several small historical villages nearby. In walking distance of the churches and monasteries one can endlessly wander around in green shaded valleys with small water streams running through.
Take a look at some more pictures of the village in spring, summer, fall and winter.

The spectacular surroundings of Babayan with its tufa stone shapes, bizarre rocks, painted churches and decorated pigeon houses, high as castles, are a good starting point for drawing, painting, photographing and sculpting on location. Also theatre–makers, writers and musicians are most welcome to join and exchange ideas with other artists.
With all this as a starting point, one can join the workshops art; one can choose to take some lessons individually; or work independently on an art project in a private studio.
A lunch can be provided or prepared by yourself at all times.

Take a look at some working spaces and artists at work.

discussing the art works in studio
painting on the terrace
working with clay in Avanos

Art workshop
Visual artist Willemijn Bouman has developed a special teaching method for studying the 'primary form' in art in her workshops and lessons. She has been teaching this on all levels and for all disciplines and techniques since 1993. For more information about this artist you can visit her online resume.

Music workshop
Composer, band musician and jazz–guitarist Paul Broekman – who has an experience of more then thirty–five years – developed a music workshop for amateurs and professionals. A piano, conga's and amplifiers are ready to use on the small studio stage, and you can bring also your own instrument.
More information about Pauls' music workshop can be found on his website.

Paul performes in the studio
Stage and instuments

But those who like to join their creative travel partner and prefer to do something else than making art, are welcome too. One can activily spend the day with walking in nature and by visiting the Cappadocian highlights.

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Flights, bookings and visa
Your international flight to Cappadocia, Nevsehir (distance 30 km to our house) or Kayseri (distance 60 km to our house) can be booked at ones own travel agency with Turkish Airlines (THY). This might mean a transfer in Istanbul, and you can make a pleasant overnight stop there. They have a connecting a airport shuttle service from the local airport to Cappadocia (see transfer). If you look on the website of Turkish Airlines you will see only the upper end of the price range, unless you leave three months from now: don't be shocked by the prices, they go little down in time.
You can obtain your visa online in advance.
Contact your Embassy for Turkish visa at border gates.

Take care: The lowest prices are not available at travel agencies and airline companies until 3 months before departure date. Before that time prices are significantly higher. Especially the Turkish travel agencies have good promotional prices, but only three months before the proposed departure date. Also prices and schedules differ every season. During the off season period prices are cheaper.

Internet information and charter bookings from Europe to Kayseri: Pegasus Airlines, Corendon, Onur Air,, and Be sure to fill in the dates as three months from now, otherwise you are unlikely to get the desired information.

Check this website out for your cheapest flights and very clever bookings.

Transfer and taxi
Turkish Airlines offers an airport shuttle service by Argeus Tour operator to our Ibrahimpasa village. Costs are around Euro 10. Other airlines can reserve an airport transfer to our Ibrahimpasa village by sending an email to: Heritage Travel. You can also take a regular airport taxi to our residency, but that fee is higher then when you make the transfer reservation in advance. A good alternative is the bus to Göreme (see info 'come by bus') from where it is a short taxi ride to the residency.

Self drive to/in Cappadocia
Having a rent–a–car at your disposal has advantages because of the vast area you are about to visit: 40.000 km². Most highlights can be visited in one holiday period.
Some internet flight companies also offer fly–drive, you should shop around.
If you decide to travel this way, the rental car will be waiting for you at the airport. Always double–check your reservation!
The Babayan Culture House can supply you with an online road map, tailored to the airport you arrive at. But good tourist roadmaps are available at bookstores. The roads are good and sometimes even very good: there are many petrol stations along the way (prices are the same as in Europe), and because of this only a few Turkish use the roads, they are almost empty.
Kayseri is 60 km from the house and is connected to Cappadocia by a brand new highway built by the Japanese. But the highway from Ankara is also good. Road restaurants can be found everywhere.

Also, you can take the bus to Cappadocia (Göreme) and rent a car for the days required.
You can make use of the service of a reliable and local rent–a–car company we work with, that brings the car to the residency and also picks it up again: the utmost freedom and service! Ask for the season rates and advantages.

By bus to Cappadocia
Bus from Ankara: Takes 5 hours. After your visit of the capital go to the large bus terminal in Ankara (ASTI). And buy your ticket with bus agency 'Nevsehirliler' destination Nevsehir, Göreme or Ürgüp. The agency will give you the number of the lane the bus departs from. At the terminal building there is a small bazaar (market) and restaurants. Or buy your ticket online in advance 'Nevsehirliler' online bus reservation. The price of the ticket will be around 20 Euro p/p, and is fixed. From your destination there it is a short drive by taxi to the Babayan Culture House.

Bus from Kayseri: First a short transfer by the `Havas` airport service or taxi to the main bus station of Kayseri. There buy your ticket to Göreme or Ürgüp with bus company 'Nevsehirliler' or by 'Nevsehirliler' online bus reservation. This bus trip takes about one hour. From your end destination you can take a taxi to the Babayan Culture House.

Weather and clothing.
Cappadocia has a land climate: short hot summers (+40) and cold winters (–10) with snow. Keep in mind that in the summer the evenings can be cool too. In spring and fall it can rain firmly, so if you like walking bring strong water tight boots and at least one pair of trousers to prevent you being hurt by the hard grasses of the steppe. Because our village is very traditional we always ask every guest to wear decent and covered clothing.

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The Babayan Culture House Foundation organizes the art and cultural programs together with your hosts at location Willemijn Bouman and Paul Broekman. They are both professional visual artists: painting.

Willemijn works and lives over twenty seven years in Cappadocia and Paul is also a professional jazz guitarist who performs more then thirty five years all over the world. They have traveled a lot through many countries and now became experienced in the Turkish culture and language. Through them you can meet the local villagers and farmers and share their ways (Willemijn's pictures).

Arfan in the court yard
Walking with Arfan

To all artists concerning the Cappadocian region!

The Art/Eco Platform Cappadocia is a growing cooperation between artists and organizations who concern unique and historical Cappadocia. By expressing themselves, visual artists, theatre makers and musicians, draw attention in a positive way to protect the vulnerable tufa stone environment from fast developing 'modern world' influences, such as lack of good wastewater and garbage solutions and the misuse of the environment of touristy developments.

Cappadocia is a cultural and historical area, still peaceful and away from a hectic modern world and a World Heritage site of Unesco.
The presence of open air museums, beautiful landscapes filled with painted cave churches, pigeon houses and historical sites makes it well to study and to connect to. Breathtaking hand–carved architecture and 40.000 km2 of sculpturally shaped volcanic nature astonish the eye of everyone that enters. Cappadocia slowly starts to get open to the world –tourist area– with all kind of consequences for environmental infrastructure.
  • There are problems like open canalizations, very polluted valleys by free garbage dumping and the lack of drinking water. As it became a tourist area in short time, the modern use and supplies in this volcanic environment became clearly out of balance.
  • The river Kýzýlýrmak is the main water stream coming from the Black Sea going all the way South, passing through Cappadocia and following its way up North again. The river is therefore of huge importance for the Anatolian Heights. But there is little water streaming now, because several storage lakes were constructed.

In association with NIHAnkara (Netherlands Institute for Higher Education) and KozaVisual, Babayan Culture House developed a project for Water Management in Cappadocia that was initiated with a congress in January 2008. The Art/Eco Platform Cappadocia raised awareness for this Water Management project and aimed for all kinds ecological solutions that fit into the vulnerable volcanic environment of Cappadocia. The yet unspoilt village Ibrahimpasa/Babayan is therefor a pilot village for environmental solutions and the center of artistic activity and cultural exchange of ideas. Artists with Art/Eco based projects will give their artistic commends on these developments... Look at the video A Lunar Landscape. The following theme was starting point for Art/Eco Projects in 2008 and onwards:


'Peri' water installation 2008 by Tina Eskilsson
'Peri' water installation 2008 by Tina Eskilsson
'Peri' water installation 2008 by Tina Eskilsson


Both the landscape and the volcano Erciyes are for Bouman a never–ending inspirational source:
  • "The landscape is sculpturally shaped: it's the most bizarre landscape I have ever seen and therefore as a visual artist, it attracts me immensly."
  • "The volcano is my metaphor for strength: through the years, it has become an important element in my personal language of symbols."
"Although I paint outer shapes, this realism in my paintings does not have much to do with the aspects of the landscape. My landscape based artworks are inspired on both 'the world of metaphors' and 'the world of abstraction'. The alienation that is evoked by this environment, once shaped by that volcano, is what I want to express in my artwork. Also, I worked on a series of large mixed–media drawings on paper, with a Turkish wedding of a very young farmers daughter as my subject. The blackness in the drawings is my personal way of expressing the contradictions in the Turkish culture which nowadays still lead to forced and painful situations like this. My latest project is a series of paintings and rubbings based on the Hititte stone TOPADA.
To see these art works please visit my Turkish painting gallery."

Exhibition Willemijn Bouman in the Adnan Franko Gallery in Izmir 2007

Latest news: With Paul Broekman I had an exhibition in November 2014, in the province museum in nevsehir, Turkey with the title 'SILENT WITNESSES'.

Here you can see pictures of her latest solo exhibitions with those works in 'The Hague ArtCircle', The Netherlands in 2005 and in the 'Adnan Franko Gallery', Izmir in February 2007.
Her next solo exhibition took place in March 2007 in the 'Netherlands Institute for Higher Education' NIHA in Ankara, Turkey. And in July 2008, she exhibited her work related to Water in the 3d Modern Art Festival in Mustafapasa.

Erciyes 1999

From time to time she paints in her studio in The Netherlands, and she wants to bring your attention to two large paintings Erciyes 1999, and Erciyes 2000. Both canvases are 6 metres wide and 2 metres high...
Pictures of my Turkish art works
My art–photographes about Turkish culture

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