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Goreme Open Air Museum

The Goreme Open-Air Museum is an extensive collection of monastic cells, abbeys and small churches and chapels. The rock-cut churches, have beautiful frescoes which, thanks to the dry climate still have remarkably fresh colors. Most of the churches date to the 10th thru 12th centuries.

Azize Barbara Kilisesi (the Church of St Barbara) has a square plan with 4 columns and what appears to be a groin-vaulted roof. In fact, like all the cave churches, the interior was entirely carved from the rock, leaving architectural trompe d'oeil that appear to be vaulting and other constructions. The frescoes show the life of Christ, the Hospitality of Abraham and Three Hebrew Youths

Elmali Kilise - Apple Church. With so many churches needing names, this one was supposedly named because an early visitor saw an apple in one of the frescoes, or perhaps because there was an apple orchard outside. The valleys of Cappadocia remain fertile areas of orchards of apples, apricots and walnuts..

Throughout the churches, the frescoes are damaged, sometimes from wind and water, but also from various waves of Christian and later Islamic iconoclasts who concentrated on obscuring the faces.

.Snake (Yilanli) Church This church has just 2 chambers two chambers. The front section is barrel-vaulted, while the back one has a flat ceiling. There is an image of Christ with a book in his hand, and, flanking him Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena. A fresco showing the Killing of the Snake by St. George and St. Theodore gives the church its name.. Other saints include, the Apostle Thomas, and St. Basileios Of particular interest is St. Ono0phrius, who as a virgin was transformed into a man.. The frescos show him with long beard, and a woman's breasts. He became the patron saint of weavers due to the fact that he was depicted "dressed only in his own abundant hair, and a loin-cloth of leaves"

Carikli (Sandals) Church This church is cross vaulted, with 3 apses and 4 domes. Its frescoes show the life of Jesus, Abraham, and images of the saints and the donors of the church. Footprints under the Ascension scene give the church its name, which means "with sandal". The church dates to the beginning of the 13th centuries. The center dome displays a picture of Jesus Christ, Pantocrator. Other apses depict the Deesis, Madonna and child, and St Michael.

Buckle (Tokali) Church This church is just outside the official museum. It is a complex made up of 4 main chambers. The New Church has a rectangular plan leading to the barrel-vaulted single-nave Old Church with frescoes dating to early 10th century. The usual palette of of rich red and green, represent scenes from the Bible. The indigo coloring sets the New Church apart from its neighbors. Tokali has the best paintings narrating the life of Christ in the most detail. The church is decorated with the Infancy, Ministry and Passion cycles, with several episodes from the life of St. Basileios.

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Ihlara Valley
Soganli Valley
Early Christian Art

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