Historical houses in the Kaçkar mountains
Traditional houses in the villages and in the highlands are built of stone and wood. Proportions of timber depend on the availability of wood. In the villages on the southern slopes, you can find massive stone-built mansions with barns for storing hay, to feed the cattle in the winter. On the more forested northern slopes, multi-story houses are made of timber on a stone base. Each floor has a different function. Usually, the first/ground floor serves as the living room and houses the kitchen. The next floor has the bedrooms. One floor is dedicated to storing food.
Houses on the highlands usually serve as temporary accommodations for summer and autumn. These houses have stone-built grounds but some are built of wood only.
People with their herds start to arrive in May and June staying until early October depending on the altitude of the highland. However, more and more of the houses are put to use for tourism as the Kaçkars is becoming a popular trekking holiday destination.
Traditional life-style based on cattle farming, bee-keeping and orchards by itself is not profitable anymore but being coupled with carefullly planned and responsible tourism may sustain local communities. Traditional wooden architecture is now protected as part of the cultural heritage.
Check out our trek across the Kaçkar mountains!
We hope to see you soon in Turkey!