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Cappadocia Dark Church; Nevşehir has a history of approximately five thousand years and is one of the oldest settlements. It is home to many churches because of its underground cities, fairy chimneys and the Christian people who lived before. For example, the Open Air Museum in Göreme was originally designed as a monastery, and later it became a settlement formed by carving the rocks. The Dark Church is also located in the Göreme Open Air Museum. If you have come to Nevşehir and are interested in the history of different cultures, the Cappadocia Dark Church should definitely be among the places you should visit.
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About Cappadocia Dark Church
Today, there are many churches, chapels, settlements and dining halls in the area, which serves as an open-air museum. In this region, which is considered to be the place where the monastic system first started, the decorations and paintings, especially in the churches and dating back to very old dates, attract attention. In addition, the museum has found its place in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural and natural asset.
There are many historical places that must be visited in Göreme Open Air Museum, such as the Monastery for Girls and Boys, Barbara Church, St. Basileus Church, Yılanlı Church, Elmalı Church, Tokalı Church and Elmalı Church. However, the most striking one among the churches will undoubtedly be the Dark Church.
Cappadocia Dark Church, whose structure has survived until today, hosted pigeons because it was used for dovecotes, and thanks to pigeon manure, it managed to preserve its original appearance for a very long time. Afterwards, it was cleaned and taken under protection with renovation works. In addition to these, the church has a very small window and therefore very little light enters the church. We can say that the name of the church comes from here.
What’s in the Cappadocia Dark Church?
The fact that the church received little light enabled the paintings that had existed for years inside to preserve their vitality, and this visual feast was able to maintain its existence. Although the paintings have preserved their vitality, the church was renovated by 12 people from four nationalities.
The narthex, which was the previous entry point of the church, is not currently open for use. Access to the top is provided by using wooden stairs from the tunnels located just below. Many important events for Christianity are depicted on the walls of the church, the interior of which consists of domes and columns.
The symbol of the trinity of father, son and holy spirit, Hz. There is a picture of Jesus. The signs on the columns are Hz. It symbolizes the names of Jesus. In addition to these, many events taken from the Torah are also depicted in the church. However, in order not to damage all these historical works of art, photography is prohibited in the church.
In the Dark Church, as in the Elmalı and Çarıklı churches, scenes from the Torah are depicted. These scenes are “Deesis”, “Annunciation”, “Journey to Bethlehem”, “Birth”, “Adoration of the Three Magi”, “Baptism”, “Resurrection of Lazarus”, “Transfiguration”, “Entry into Jerusalem”, “The Last Supper”, “Betrayal”, “Jesus on the Cross”, “The Descent of Jesus into Hell”, “Women at the Empty Grave”, “Blessing and Commissioning of the Apostles”, “Ascension of Jesus”, “Abraham The Hospitality of the Prophet”, “The Burning of Three Jewish Youths” and depictions of saints.
Cappadocia Dark Church, whose structure has survived until today, hosted pigeons because it was used for dovecotes, and thanks to pigeon manure, it managed to preserve its original appearance for a very long time.
Cappadocia Dark Church Visiting Hours and Entry Price
Göreme Open Air Museum is open to visitors between 08:00-19:00 in the summer season and between 08:00-17:00 in the winter season. The entrance fee of the museum is 30 TL and it is also possible to enter with the Museum Card. The reason why this entrance fee is higher than the entrance fees of other churches is to reduce the density and to ensure that the church is less destroyed.
How to Get to the Cappadocia Dark Church
Located 2 km from Göreme, the Dark Church is 20 minutes away from Nevşehir by car. If you wish, you can visit the Cappadocia Dark Church by using the Göreme buses that depart every hour from 8 am to 7 pm. Undoubtedly, this journey you make will be worth everything you see in the Dark Church, one of the most important churches of the Cappadocia region.