Table of Contents
- Churches in Göreme National Park
- Churches in Güllüdere Valley (Near Göreme)
- Churches in Zemi Valley – Goreme
- Churches in Zelve Valley Open Air Museum (Between Avanos and Göreme)
- Churches in Çavuşin Village (Between Avanos and Göreme)
- Churches in Ortahisar
- Churches in Pancarlık Valley – Ortahisar
- Churches in Mustafapasa – Urgup
- Churches in the Ihlara Valley
Churches In Cappadocia; There are many churches to visit in Cappadocia. It is known that there are nearly 400 churches in Cappadocia. In Cappadocia, which has hosted many civilizations, there are especially important historical monuments of Christianity. The reason for this is that Christians escaping from Roman oppression see Cappadocia as a place to hide and shelter.
So much so that some of the churches were carved into Fairy Chimneys, which is another astonishing subject. Although some of the churches have managed to survive for many years without losing their texture, unfortunately some churches have not survived as well as others. In particular, the depictions of Jesus Christ and the saints draw attention.
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Churches in Göreme National Park
Churches In Cappadocia; Cappadocia is home to many historical churches. One of the best places to see these historical churches is Göreme National Park. Because most of the churches in Göreme are in Göreme Open Air Museum. Tokalı Church, Çarıklı Church and Elmalı Church are the churches you should definitely see, especially Dark Church and Yılanlı Church.
Dark Church (Karanlık Kilise)
Churches In Cappadocia; It is the most striking church among the churches to visit in Cappadocia. It is called the Dark Church because it receives very little light from a very small window in the Narthex part of the church. The fact that the church was not illuminated ensured that the frescoes inside did not fade and still remain alive. The church, which is estimated to have been built at the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century, has rich decorations.
The scenes of Deesis, Annunciation, Journey to Bethlehem, Birth, Adoration of the Magi, Baptism, Resurrection of Lazarus, Transfiguration, Entrance to Jerusalem and Betrayal in the Church draw attention. In addition to this, depictions of The Last Supper, Jesus on the Cross, Jesus’ Descent into Hell, Women at the Empty Tomb can also be seen. There are also scenes from the Torah, such as the Blessing and Commissioning of the Apostles, the Ascension of Jesus, the Hospitality of the Prophet Abraham, and the Burning of Three Jewish Youths.
Serpentine Church (Yılanlı Kilise)
Churches In Cappadocia; On the wall of the church are four pictures of sinners and naked women attacked by snakes. For this reason, the church took the name Yılanlı Church. The epitaph of the first of these women was destroyed, so her crime could not be understood. The second woman’s fault is that she is bitten in the chest by snakes because she does not breastfeed her child. The third woman was bitten on the mouth for lying, and the fourth woman on the ears for disobedience and disobedience. The Snake Church is thought to date from the 9th century.
Buckled Church (Tokalı Kilise)
Churches In Cappadocia; The Tokalı Church, which is estimated to have been built at the beginning of the 11th century, is the oldest rock church in this region and consists of 4 places. The single-nave Old Church, the New Church, the church below the Old Church and the side chapel to the north of the New Church are the 4 places mentioned. Drawings from the life of St. Basil, depictions of many saints and Hz. It is possible to see the miracles of Jesus and his life cycle in the drawings on the wall.
There are many churches to visit in Cappadocia. It is known that there are nearly 400 churches in Cappadocia. In Cappadocia, which has hosted many civilizations, there are especially important historical monuments of Christianity.
Carikli Church (Çarıklı Kilise)
Churches In Cappadocia; One of the greatest features of the church is that it staged the crucifixion and removal from the cross of Jesus Christ. The similarities with the Elmalı Church and the Dark Church are a striking detail. The reason why it is called Çarıklı Church is -according to rumors- it is thought to be the footprints of the Prophet Jesus under the scene of his ascension.
Apple Church (Elmalı Kilise)
Churches In Cappadocia; In order to enter the church, it is necessary to use a tunnel opened from the north. According to estimates, it was built in the middle of the 11th century or the beginning of the 12th century. Another striking detail is that the crosses and motifs on the wall are made with red paint.
Churches in Güllüdere Valley (Near Göreme)
Churches In Cappadocia; Güllüdere Valley is one of the most popular valleys of Cappadocia. The most popular churches in the valley are Direkli Church and Crusader Church. The reason for this is that they also host those who visit the Kızılçukur Valley. For more detailed information, you can read our article on Kızılçukur Valley. Apart from these, there are 3 more churches in Güllüdere Valley. These are the Yovakim-Anna Church, the Ayvalı Church and the Three Cross Church.
Mast Church (Direkli Kilise)
Churches In Cappadocia; For the (salvation) and forgiveness of sins of “(your) servant (name of me…)”, which is seen in the inscription in the church, ”(this church was built or decorated) during the reign of Emperor Basileios and Constantine” Thanks to this, it has been understood that the church was built during the reign of Emperor ‘2 Basilios and 8 Constantines’, that is, in 976-1025. Two archangel depictions draw attention. We also see depictions of Deesis, Meryem Orans, Mary and Child Jesus, Zechariah, Yoakim.
Crusader Church (Saint Aganthangelus)
Churches In Cappadocia; The exact construction date of the church is unknown, but it is thought that it started to be built in the 6th or 7th century, and was completed in the 9th or 10th century. The plan of the church is rectangular, flat ceiling and wide single apse, so it is known as the Crusader Church. The church is entered by a wooden staircase. The cross relief on the ceiling creates a visual feast for the visitors.
Churches In Cappadocia; It is the most visited church in the region. The reason is that the Virgin Mary fresco in the church is rare.
Church of Saint John – Ayvali Church
Churches In Cappadocia; One of the most striking frescoes in the church is the scene of the Virgin Mary on her deathbed. In this scene, which also includes the apostles, Hz. Jesus takes the life of the Virgin Mary through a baby coming out of his mouth. It is very difficult to understand when some of the frescoes in the Ayvalı Church were drawn, but it is estimated that they were made in the 9th century. It is thought that the frescoes in the church were made in different periods.
Churches in Zemi Valley – Goreme
Churches In Cappadocia; There are 4 churches that you can see in Zemi Valley, a little ahead of Göreme Open Air Museum. These are Sarnıç Church, El Nazar Church, Karabulut Church and Görkündere Church. You can visit these churches while walking around the Zemi Valley, which has a track of approximately 5500 meters. In addition, the Saklı Church is located very close to the valley.
Churches In Cappadocia; It was named Cistern Church because it was used as a cistern for a while. It is possible to see traces of water inside the church. The prominent beauties of the church are the depictions of saints in medallions. It is noteworthy that the frescoes that have survived to the present day are still alive and intact.
El Nazar Church
Churches In Cappadocia; It was carved into one of the Fairy Chimneys. Unfortunately, the floor of the church and a part of the apse have also been destroyed. Although no exact date is given, we know that the church dates from the estimated end of the 10th century.
Churches In Cappadocia; You can only enter the Karabulut Church by climbing its entrance. Therefore, the church does not have a door. It is not a popular place for people as it is difficult to enter the church. That’s why the frescoes inside have survived to the present day.
Churches In Cappadocia; The reason why the name of the church is Hidden Church is because it is on a very steep slope and it was found in 1957 due to the collapse of the entrance. The drawings adorning the church draw our attention as they are drawn directly on the bedrock. Another striking feature is that it has a very ornate cross on its ceiling. You can see these crosses in churches built in the early period.
The drawings on the walls are the Prayer Scene, the Annunciation to Mary, the Nativity of Jesus, the Calendar of Jesus in the Temple, the Commissioning of John the Baptist, the Baptism of Jesus, the Transfiguration, Jesus on the Cross, and the Death of Mary. It was determined that it was built in the second half of the 11th century. This is another of the churches that should be visited in Cappadocia.
Churches in Zelve Valley Open Air Museum (Between Avanos and Göreme)
Churches In Cappadocia; Zelve Valley and Open Air Museum is between Avanos and Goreme. There are about 15 churches here from the 8th and 9th centuries. Among these churches, Geyikli Church, Balıklı Church and Üzümlü Church draw attention. It is one of the most popular churches that have survived to the present day.
Balıklı and Üzümlü Church
Churches In Cappadocia; Balıklı and Üzümlü Church, which belongs to a monastery, is located in the third valley of Zelve. Unfortunately, the entrance parts of the church were destroyed. The depiction of the Virgin Mary, sitting on the throne at the entrance, with the baby Jesus in her arms, draws attention. There are also drawings of Michael and Gabriel carrying the cross. In the researches, it has been stated that the Balıklı and Üzümlü Churches date back to the 10th century.
Churches In Cappadocia; The striking point in the church are the embossed crosses and deer depictions on its walls. Geyikli Church, which belongs to the iconoclastic period, is one of the most important churches of the valley.
Churches in Çavuşin Village (Between Avanos and Göreme)
Churches In Cappadocia; Çavusin Village is a must-see village located between Avanos and Göreme. There are many churches in the village. But the most important ones are the Cavusin Church and the Church of John the Baptist. There are other churches in the village named after important names of Christianity. Apart from this, some churches have also taken the names of important events or places where they are located. St. Jean Church, St. Paul’s Church, St. Mary’s Church are some of them. Cemalların Church, Üzümlü Church, Gıdıların Church are examples of these churches.
Churches In Cappadocia; It was made before the birth of Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, it is another remarkable place among the churches to visit in Cappadocia. Two stairs on the right and left sides are used to enter the church. When you enter the church, you see sitting areas and baptismal stones. There are many drawings on the walls. The Cavusin Church also states that photographing is prohibited so that the paint applied in some other museums will not be damaged.
The cemetery part, which is found in many churches, is also available in the Çavuşin Church. In order for those who come to the church to pray easily, rooms have been created in the name of the deceased.
Churches in Ortahisar
Churches In Cappadocia; Ortahisar valleys are home to many churches and monasteries worth seeing. One of them is the Canbazlı Church. Other churches you can see are Ali Reis Church, Tavşanlı Church and Balkan Deresi Churches.
Churches In Cappadocia; The church takes its name from the neighborhood in which it is located. The church, which was carved into one of the rocks in the stream bed, is thought to be included in the settlement of a monastery. There are cross diagrams at the entrance and it is thought to belong to the 5th century. In addition, the north facade is closed.
Churches in Pancarlık Valley – Ortahisar
Churches In Cappadocia; Pancarlık Valley, which is a walking path with its unique texture, is also a very suitable place for camping. The only church you will see in this valley with a unique view is the Pancarlık Church.
Churches In Cappadocia; There is something remarkable about the frescoes on the walls of the church, which is that the frescoes in the Pancarlık Church are made on a green background and well preserved, rather than other churches. It was carved into a very large rock mass, and is also located in the highest region of the Pancarlık Valley. The frescoes in the church in question include scenes from the Annunciation, Transfiguration, Miracle of Wine and many more Gospels.
Churches in Mustafapasa – Urgup
Churches In Cappadocia; Mustafapaşa is one of the important and historical regions of Ürgüp. We recommend taking a day off to visit this place. In addition to churches, you see many historical houses and museums in Mustafapaşa. Especially Aios Konstantinos and Eleni Church and St. Vasillios Church are places to see.
Church of Aios Konstantinos and Eleni
“I am the church of the most holy royal family; I was built during the reign of Constantine and Helena, Sultan Ahmet I. 1 I was decorated during the reign of Abdülmecid and was completed in 1792 with the efforts and expenditures of the people of Sinasos when the famous Paisios became Bishop. I was repaired in 1850.” These sentences are written on the inscription on the entrance door of the church. It was built in 1729, that is, during the Ottoman period. It was also repaired during the reigns of Sultan Ahmet and Sultan Abdülmecit. Unfortunately, over time, the drawings in the church faded and disappeared.
St. Vasilios Church
Churches In Cappadocia; We also know it as Ayios Vasilios or Aya Vassilios. The church, which looked like a ruin before the restoration work was carried out, we know as a layered monastery church carved out of the rock. One of the most important features is that it is the only post-Byzantine style rock church. It is estimated to have been built in the 19th century. The church is entered from a small room at the top of the valley. On the walls, there are pictures of saints and apostles inside the medallion. The fresco of St. Yuannis is only found in this church.
Churches in the Ihlara Valley
Churches In Cappadocia; Ihlara Valley, one of the most special areas of Cappadocia, is home to many churches. This is a magnificent place where monks used to retreat. The Melendiz Stream passing through the middle adds a unique beauty to the valley. In this place where nature and history meet, you will first meet with Ağaçaltı Church. Afterwards, Sümbüllü Church, Kokar Church, Pürenliseki Church and Eğritaş Church are among the churches worth seeing.
Churches In Cappadocia; As we said, there are many churches to visit in Cappadocia, another one of them is Ağaçaltı Church. It is the closest church to the entrance of the valley. Therefore, it is the most visited church in this region/valley. The church is accessed from the second floor because its main entrance is underground. The reason why it is called Ağaçaltı is, according to a rumor, the church was entered with tree branches in ancient times. In another source, it is called St. Daniel, based on the fresco of the Prophet Daniel among the lions. According to an inscription inside the church, it is said to be called the Pantanassa Church.
However, the most striking point in the church is that the lion frescoes painted on the church wall are not specific to Christians, but to Iran. It has been determined that the frescoes found here belong to the 9th-11th century. An inscription in the church emphasizes that the Virgin Mary is the “queen of the skies”. Agacaltı Church is a very popular church because it is located at the entrance of the valley.
Hyacinth Church (Sümbüllü Church)
Churches In Cappadocia; It is named after the hyacinths that grow in the region. Its entrance is through a narrow window. The church, which was built on a large rock with two floors, is estimated to belong to the 11th-12th century. As in all other churches, there are many frescoes in Sümbüllü Church.
Churches In Cappadocia; According to what is known, the church belongs to the 9th century and is one of the oldest churches in the Ihlara Valley. As a result of the researches, it was learned that the frescoes found here were made in the second half of the 11th century. There are two burial chambers inside and the decorations in the said room were made with red paint.
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Churches In Cappadocia; The name of the church is derived from the herbs called puren that grow in the Ihlara Valley. Apart from having frescoes in dark colors, it also has a primitive style. It is estimated that it was built between the 10th and 12th centuries.
Churches In Cappadocia; It is one of the oldest churches of Ihlara Valley. It was built at the end of the 9th century and the beginning of the 10th century. Compared to other churches in the valley, it has the largest temple and cemetery in the region. It consists of two floors, on the lower floor there is an area where funeral ceremonies are held.