Rock Churches

After settling in at the Coco Cave, I set out to walk around the vicinity of Goreme. My first stop was the Goreme Open Air Museum. About half way there, I heard a thunderclap, and hailstones (about the size of ball bearings) started falling from the sky, despite it being sunny where I was standing. Fortunately, I was able to wait out the storm in a nearby cave, which are abundant in the region.

The hail turned to rain, which eventually slackened enough that I left my (not so) comfortable cave and headed to the museum. The Open Air Museum is a walking tour of some of the best-preserved churches and other structures of the region, all built directly into the rock. The most remarkable example is the Dark Church, a rock church whose frescoes are incredibly well preseved on account of the small amount of light which actually reaches the church.

I was not permitted to take photos in the Dark Church (and there was a guard standing by to enforce this rule), but I did manage to snap a few illicit, flash-free photos in the Church of the Sandals.

Here we see the main apse, the central dome, and the two supporting pillars of the church.

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This is a closeup of the central dome.

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Finally, here is a fresco of the crucifixion on the wall of one of the secondary apses.

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The refectory is located underneath the church, and has a stone table with stone benches on either side, all rough-hewn from the rock.

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After leaving the Open Air Museum, I hiked up one of the nearby hills (there are paths, or approximations thereof, almost everywhere) and soon stumbled across the remains of another rock chrurch, one of many which dot the region.

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I got some spectacular views as the sun started to set...

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... and even made friends with a goat.

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By Ross in Travel on Tue 10 June 2014. Tags: Turkey, churches

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