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Zelve Paşabağlar Ruins, one of the important tourism centers in Nevşehir’s Cappadocia region, is called Zelve Open Air Museum. Zelve Open Air Museum, within the borders of Avanos district, is home to many rock churches from the early Christian era. Paşabağları Ruins, located on the road just before coming here, is one of the places to visit in Zelve Valley.
Right at the entrance of Zelve Ruins, there is a ticket office, a museum store, a few places where you can eat toast and pancakes, and a market. If you are hungry before or after your visit, you can eat ravioli, pancake, toast and drink tea/coffee in places like Peri Cafeterya, Terrace and Zelve Cafeteria. You can also buy souvenirs related to Cappadocia at this point. The paid parking lot of the museum is located at this entrance. Minibuses coming from Avanos also stop by this point.
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History of Zelve Open Air Museum
Located on the Goreme-Avanos road, Zelve Open Air Museum stands out as the most important and oldest settlement of the region. Tunnels, dovecotes, churches and monasteries draw attention in the region, which was one of the important religious centers of Christians between the 9th and 13th years.
The places used by the local people until the 1950s were designated as museums after the later arrangement and the announcement of Göreme National Park. Zelve Open Air Museum, which also hosts various events and concerts from time to time, has two different walking and observation tracks, one of which is 170 meters and the other 250 meters. The windows and doors carved from the rocks look quite beautiful. You can enter and visit some sections. Some areas are not open to visitors due to the danger of collapse.
What’s in Zelve Open Air Museum?
Zelve Open Air Museum covers the area of 3 valleys. In the first valley, there is the Üzümlü and Balıklı church and a winery, in the second valley there is the Holy Cross Church, in the third valley there is the monastery and the rock mosque in the village square. The tunnel connecting the second valley to the third valley and the dovecotes carved into the high rocks are also quite beautiful in the museum.
it is remarkable.
Located on the edge of the courtyard, which is thought to belong to a monastery, the Üzümlü and Balıklı Church, whose entrance was destroyed, consists of two parts. The chapel part of the church, which is known by this name because of its grape and fish reliefs, is dated to the 10th century, and the church part to earlier centuries. The motifs, especially the cross reliefs, which are frequently encountered here, as in the rest of the open-air museum, point to the iconoclastic period.
Zelve Paşabağlar Ruins, one of the important tourism centers in Nevşehir’s Cappadocia region, is called Zelve Open Air Museum. Zelve Open Air Museum, within the borders of Avanos district, is home to many rock churches from the early Christian era.
Known as the Church of the Holy Cross due to the relief crosses seen in the interior, the church has large niches on its walls and tombs thought to belong to church officials on the ground. There is an inscription that can hardly be read on the main gate of the Holy Cross Church, which is one of the structures in the second zelve valley.
Zelve Mosque, which is one of the cultural and historical tourism attractions, has adapted to the natural appearance of the Zelve valley with its altar carved into the rock and cut stone walls. The minaret of the mosque with four columns and a pointed head reflects the “Baldaken” style, which symbolizes the Early Ottoman period. The mosque in the village square and the churches in the valley are very important in terms of settlement history.
One of the structures that testify to the social and economic situation of the region in Zelve Open Air Museum is the dovecotes. The reason for the construction of the dovecotes, which are mostly carved into high rock slopes and date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, is to benefit from the manure of the birds. The exterior of the pigeons is social life.
and traditionally decorated with rich ornamentation. Pomegranate, wheel of fortune and tree of life are among the most preferred motifs.
Pigeon manure continues to be used in order to get more efficiency from the vineyards in the Cappadocia region. Therefore, the fact that one of the important economic activities of the field is viticulture has ensured that the pigeon houses maintain their importance.
Where is Zelve Open Air Museum and How to Go?
Zelve Open Air Museum is located between Avanos and Goreme. The distance of Zelve Open Air Museum to important locations in Cappadocia is as follows:
- Urgup: 10.5 km
- Avanos: 6.1 km
- Goreme: 7.2 km
- Uchisar: 11.6 km
You can reach Zelve Open Air Museum with your private vehicle, minibuses or by renting a car. There is free outdoor parking at the entrance of the valley.
Zelve Open Air Museum Opening/Closing Hours
The opening and closing hours of Zelve Open Air Museum, which is open to visitors every day, are as follows:
- Opening Time: 08:00
- Closing Time: 17:00
- Box Office Closing Time: 16:15
Zelve Open Air Museum Contact Information
- Address: Aktepe Village Zelve Open Air Museum Cluster Houses No:1 Avanos/NEVŞEHİR
- Email: –
- Tel: +903842713535
Zelve Open Air Museum Entrance Fee
Zelve Open Air Museum entrance fee is 25 TL (1.5 €). Museum Card is valid at Zelve Open Air Museum. In order to examine the open air museum in the best way and not to get lost, you can get a free sketch of the open air museum from the cashier located at the entrance.