Goreme Open Air Museum is a rock settlement located 13 km from Nevşehir and 2 km east of Goreme town. In this region, monastic life was intense from the 4th to the 13th centuries AD. There are churches, chapels, dining halls and sitting areas in almost every rock block. Today’s Goreme Open Air Museum is considered to be the place where the monastic education system was started. Soganli, Ihlara, Açıksaray are places where the same education system was seen later.

The most important historical place of Goreme, the charming town of Cappadocia, where life is intertwined with fairy chimneys, is the Goreme Open Air Museum. The museum consists of monasteries, churches, chapels, dining halls, kitchens and living spaces carved into the rock. This region was founded by the Bishop of Kayseri, St. Basil, an important person in the history of Christianity, as a center of religious education and thought in the 4th century. The ideas of St. Basil, who brought many innovations to the Christian thought, were first taught here. The monastic life in the region lasted for 1000 years.

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History of Goreme Open Air Museum

M.S. in Goreme There was a monastic life that started from the 4th century and continued until the 13th century. For this reason, almost every rock in the region has an experience. Life in this valley in Goreme began in the 4th century AD, during the first Christian periods. A new era began with the arrival of the bishop St. Basil to the region in the 4th century BC.

The most important historical place of Goreme, the charming town of Cappadocia, where life is intertwined with fairy chimneys, is the Goreme Open Air Museum.

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St. Basil started to spread his teachings in the Goreme region and trained new students. In this way, monastic life began in the whole valley. Many different monks, especially St. Basil’s, carved their thoughts on the rocks. All the works of that period have survived to the present day.

Where is Goreme Open Air Museum?

Goreme Open Air Museum is located within the borders of Goreme district, 13 kilometers from Nevşehir. Goreme Open Air Museum is located 2 kilometers east of Goreme town. Domestic and foreign tourists can also easily reach Goreme Open Air Museum.

How To Get To Goreme Open Air Museum?

Minibuses and transportation vehicles from Nevşehir center go to Goreme Open Air Museum. At the same time, Goreme Open Air Museum can be visited by private vehicles. Nevşehir-Üçhisar road can be used to reach Goreme. People arriving in Nevşehir from Istanbul can reach Goreme after a 30-kilometer road when they arrive at Cappadocia Airport.

Goreme Open Air Museum

What To See in Goreme Open Air Museum?

There are many monastic churches and chapels to visit and see in Goreme Open Air Museum. In this open-air museum, there are geometric shapes belonging to Christianity and religious pictures and writings. Besides, Hz. The frescoes that tell the stories of Jesus and the Bible also draw attention.

Monks and Priests Monastery in Goreme Open Air Museum is one of the most curious areas. Just at the entrance of this museum is the St. Basel Chapel. The Elmalı Church, which is also in the museum, has nine domes, four columns and three apses. There are many areas in Goreme Open Air Museum, such as the St. Barbara Chapel and the Dark Church.

In Goreme Open Air Museum, which has a total area of ​​40,000 m²:

Monastery of Nuns and Priests

The places carved into the fairy chimney on the left of Goreme Open Air Museum and consisting of 6-7 floors are known as the ‘Monastery of Nuns and Priests’. On the 1st floor of the monastery, the dining hall, the kitchen and several rooms; On the 2nd floor there is a chapel with a fresco but in ruins, and on the 3rd floor there is a church that can be reached through a tunnel. The church has 3 apses, cross domes and 4 columns. The templon in the main apse is well preserved. Except for the northeastern corner ceiling, other parts of the church are domed.

St. Basil’s Chapel

It is at the entrance of Goreme Open Air Museum. There are burial pits in the narthex, which is separated by columns. The nave has a transverse barrel vault, rectangular plan and three apses. There are three apses, one large and two small, on the left long side of the rectangular nave. The church is dated to the 11th century. The scenes, in the main apse, Hz. The portrait of Jesus, on the obverse. On the north wall there is the depiction of St. Theodore on a horse, on the south wall there is the depiction of St. George fighting with the dragon on a horse, St. Demetrius and 2 saints.

St. Basil's Chapel

Elmali Church

It has nine domes, four columns, a closed cross plan, and three apses. The church, whose main entrance is from the south, can be entered through a tunnel opened from the north. The first decorations of Elmalı Church are crosses and geometric motifs made with red paint directly on the wall. The church is dated to the middle of the 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century.

Scenes; Deesis, birth, worship of the three astrologers, baptism, resurrection of Lazarus, metamorphosis, entry into Jerusalem, last supper, betrayal, Jesus on the way to Calvary, Jesus on the cross, burial of Jesus Christ, Jesus’ descent into hell, women are depictions of the Prophet Jesus’ ascension and saints at the empty tomb. In addition, the hospitality of the Prophet Abraham and the burning of three Jewish youths in the oven are depicted.

St. Barbara Chapel

It is located next to the Open Air Museum, 2.5 kilometers from the center of Goreme. Transportation can be provided by city vehicles or tour vehicles belonging to travel agencies that organize regional tours. It is behind the rock block where Elmalı Church is located. It has a cross plan, two columns, the western, northern and southern cross arms are barrel vaulted, the central dome, the eastern cross arm and the two corner spaces in the east are domes. It has a main and two side apses.

The motifs were drawn directly on the rock with red paint. There are rich geometric motifs, mythological animals and military symbols on the walls and dome. There are also motifs that give the impression of stone on the walls. The church is dated to the second half of the 11th century. Scenes, Christ Pantocrator in the main apse; St. George and St. Theodore fighting the dragon on horseback on the northern cross; On the western cross arm, there is a depiction of St. Barbara.

Serpentine Church

Its entrance is from the north. The main space is rectangular in plan, with a cradle vault, and the additional space where the tombs are located in the south has a flat ceiling. Its apse was carved into the left long wall, and the church was left unfinished. On both sides of the church vault, there are depictions of saints who are respected in Kappadokia. The church is dated to the 11th century.

The scenes are, across the entrance, Jesus holding the Bible in his left hand and the church’s patron, St. George and St. Theodore fighting with the dragon in the east of the vault, Helena holding the real cross and her son Constantine, nude, long-haired St. Onuphrius with a palm tree in front of the vault, consecrated beside it. St. Thomas in his position and St. Basil with a book in his hand.

Dark Church

The Dark Church is dated to the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century. It is so named because it receives very little light from a small window in the narthex. For this reason, the colors of the frescoes in the church are very vivid. The church and narthex have rich decorations including the Bible and the cycle of Jesus.

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.

Dark Church

St. Catherine’s Chapel

In St. Catherine’s Chapel, located between the Dark Church and the Çarıklı Church, both the narthex and the naos have a free cross plan and a central dome; The cross arms are barrel vaulted and the apse is temploned. There is a grave on the narthex floor. There are figures only in the naos part of the chapel. The pendants are decorated with relief geometric ornaments. St. Catherine’s Chapel, built by a person named Anna, dates to the 11th century. Scenes; Deesis in the apse, the church fathers (Gregory, Basil, John Chrysostom) in medallions below it, St. George on horseback on the south wall of the northern arm of the cross; opposite Saint Theodore, Saint Catherine and other saints.

Carikli Church

It has two columns (other columns are in the form of piers on the wall corners), cross vaults, three apses and four domes. In the scenes, the depictions of the life of Jesus, the Torah scene showing the hospitality of the Prophet Abraham, and the depictions of saints and patrons are well preserved. Although it is similar to the Elmalı Church and the Dark Church, the scenes of Jesus’ crucifixion and removal from the cross are different features of the church.

Figures are usually large and tall. It is thought that the church was named “Çarıklı Church” because of the footprints found under the scene of the ascension of the Prophet Jesus. The church is dated to the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century. In the middle of the main dome, there are busts of Christ Pantocrator and angels on medallions. In addition, there is a depiction of Deesis in the main apse, the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus in the northern apse, and the Angel Mikael in the southern apse.

Scenes; “Birth”, “Adoration of the Three Magi”, “Baptism”, “Resurrection of Lazarus”, “Transfiguration”, “Entrance to Jerusalem”, “Betrayal”, “Women at the Empty Tomb”, “Ascension of Jesus Christ” ” and are depictions of saints.

Buckled Church

It is the oldest known rock church in the region and consists of 4 places. The Old Church with a Single Nave, the New Church, the church under the Old Church, and the Side Chapel to the north of the New Church can be counted as these four places. Although the Old Church, dating to the beginning of the 10th century, is the entrance to the New Church today, it was originally a single-nave, barrel-vaulted structure.

Its apse was completely destroyed during the addition of the New Church to its east. Scenes are placed on the vault surface and the upper part of the walls. The cycle covering the life of Jesus is divided into panels in the vault, and the scenes start on the right wing and follow to the left wing.

Goreme Open Air Museum Entrance Fee

The entrance fee to Goreme Open Air Museum is 100 TL (6.5 €).
“Museum card” holders can enter Goreme Open Air Museum free of charge. However, museum card holders can visit Goreme Open Air Museum at most twice a year. Museum+ card holders are entitled to unlimited visits to this museum.

  • You can click on the link to purchase a museum card.
  • You can visit the Goreme Open Air Museum virtually by clicking the link.

Goreme Open Air Museum Opening and Closing Hours

Domestic and foreign tourists who want to visit Goreme Open Air Museum should consider the opening and closing hours of the museum before making a visit plan.

  • April-October (Summer hours – every day)
    08:00 – 19:00
  • November-March (Winter hours – every day)
    08:00 – 17:00

The ticket office closes at 16:15. Audio guide service is provided inside the museum.

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