Karanlik Church, Goreme
Museum, a monastic complex of rock churches and chapels covered with
frescoes, is one of the best-known sites in central Turkey. Most of the
chapels date from the 10th to the 13th centuries; the
Byzantine and Seljuk
periods and many of them are built on an inscribed cross-plan with a
central cupola supported by four columns. In the north annexes of several
churches are rock-cut tombs. Among the most famous of the Goreme churches
are the Elmali Church, the smallest and most recent of the group; the
Yilanli Church with fascinating frescoes of the damned in serpent coils;
the Barbara Church,the Karanlik Church; and the Carikli Church. A short
way from the main group, the Tokali Kilise, or Buckle Church, has
beautiful frescoes depicting scenes from the New Testament.
The town of Goreme is set right in the middle of a valley of cones and
fairy chimneys. Some of the cafes, restaurants and guest-houses are carved
into the rock. For shoppers,
rugs and kilims are plentiful.
Continuing on the road out of Goreme, you enter one of the most beautiful
valleys in the area. Rock formations seemingly out of a fantasy rise up
before you at every turn and entice you to look longer and wonder at their
creation. For those who climb the steps to the top of the Uchisar Fortress
the whole region unfolds below.
Rugs, kilims, and popular souvenirs can
easily be purchased from the shops which line Uchisar's narrow streets.
|At Cavusin, on the
road leading north out of Goreme, you will find a triple apse church and
the monastery of St. John the Baptist. In the town are chapels and
churches, and some of the rock houses are still inhabited. From Cavusin to Zelve, fairy chimneys line the road. Unfortunately, it is dangerous to
visit the churches in the Zelve valley because erosion has undermined