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August 2008 THE CHURCHES IN THE TOWN CENTER OF GÖREME  KAPADOKYA
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THE CHURCHES IN THE TOWN CENTER OF GÖREME

THE CHURCHES IN THE TOWN CENTER OF GÖREME

THE LITTLE KNOWN TREASURE OF GÖREME

Writer: Yavuz İşçen
August 2008

If we say that one of the most visited areas in Cappadocia region is Göreme, nobody can say that it is an exaggeration.  Both Göreme Open Air Museum and the churches surround it are the places certainly being visited by both transient foreigner and the domestic tourists. However, there are important churches at the town center of Göreme which might be visited in half a day. These churches which are not very well known may be because of lack of promotion or other reasons are very interesting. If you wonder about the ones which are not under the day light rather than the ones, known and accustomed and if you like to explore, we believe in that it will be an enjoyable trip for you

If you are ready we might start together our small trip in Göreme. Our meeting point is in front of Roman Graveside. I guess there is no one who does not know it.

Mesevli Church
In order to reach the Church, follow Adnan Menderes Street and then as you pass the Municipality building take Kağnı Yolu Street on the right side. The Church is 400 m away. It has the same name with the area and since it has been used as a dove cote for a long time, it has taken a while to recognize the Church. Abbas Ataman, the archeologist mentions that this Church belongs to Saint Sergios due to article of Prof. Dr. Catharine Jolivet. The Church totally carved into the rocks and has only one nave and apse. The graves inside the Church show us that it has been used as a grave chapel.
On the ceiling of cella, there is a huge relief cross sign. One of the arms of the cross has detached because of the collapse. The life tree next to the cross is also attractive. The apse section which is half circle and domed has another rock engraved cross sign on the ceiling. This cross was placed inside a circle. The ruined frescoes can also be seen on the walls of Apse.

Bezirhane Church
In order to reach to the Church follow Karşıbucak Street from the square where the terminal is situated. If you take Ayvazefendi Street, opposite of Matiana Travel on the right side, after 100 m you may reach to the Church. It is named like this (linseed oil factory church) since the Church, engraved into the rocks, and once has been used as a linseed oil factory. During the factory period, the walls of the Church were covered totally by smoke. The Church has been situated over six big pillars. It is assumed that the Church has been constructed without any fresco and it is very attractive with its huge format.

Yusuf Koç Church
The Church has been used as a dove cote in the past and because of that it took its name from the owner of dove cote. If you take Karşıbucak Street from the square where the terminal is, and then follow Adnan Kahveci Street, opposite of Ottoman House on the right, after 250 m you might reach to the church. The two apses Church was positioned on 6 pillars. However none of the pillars exists today. Yusuf Koç Church is the only example among the churches of this article whose frescoes are in a better situation.  The other churches are either without frescoes or their frescoes are damaged quiet hard. In this church the depiction of Saints can be seen intensively. On the right side of the main entrance you may see Constantine holding a cross  and Helena as well as on the right wall saints with horses, on the left side Mary and gospel scenes, the saint writers of the Bible and on the ceiling dome Gabriel and Michael can be seen.

Durmuş Kadir Church
The name of the church comes from the owner of yard where it is located. In order to reach to the Church you need to take Karşıbucak Street from the square where the terminal is. Towards the end of the street you need to take the road on the opposite of Ataman Hotel, goes to right and directs to Masat locality, after 200 m you will see the Church. Durmuş Kadir Church has a basilica plan and very attractive architecture. The Church, which was engraved totally into the rocks, is much bigger than the other churches of Cappadocia. The structure with its rectangular plan and three apses was located on 6 pillars. One of the other interesting things in the church is the stone pulpit in front of the main apse with three step stairs.

Aziz Hieron Chapel
The Chapel which was constructed in the memory of Saint Hieron can be seen on the left side of the road from Göreme to Uçhisar. Saint Hieron is one of the soldier saints and he can be accepted as a local saint. Maccan, one of the ancient names of Göreme is actually the name of Saint Hieron’s mother. Saint Hieron was born in Göreme towards the end of third century. He got many successes during the wars against Persians in Malatya. Later on, he was martyred together with his 30 friends. His pictures being on the walls of many churches in Cappadocia show us the importance that he got in the region. His large size picture can be seen on the left wall of the structure known as ‘old church’ in Tokalı Church in Göreme. The grave chapel in Göreme, engraved in the name of Saint Hieron has one apse and a rectangular plan. The perfect stone work of the chapel easily catches the visitors. One of the walls of it was collapsed and it has no frescos. At the entrance of the chapel there is room with grave holes. On the walls of this room, the relived crosses can be seen.

Orta Mahalle (Neighbourhood) Church
It is located in Orta neighborhood of Göreme District center.  Actually the Church is inside the house of Memiş Cingitaş. The inner side of the Church is in a bad and squalid condition as well. It has no possibility to welcome the visitors. The Church has a rectangular plan and one apse and it was totally engraved into the rocks. Its ceiling was designed domed. There are only red colored geometric shapes on the upper side of the Church. On the bottom side there are various frescoes. Among the frescoes on the apse dome, Mary and gospel scene is marked. On one of the walls Saint Hieron can be seen. 

Note: This article has been published in Peribacası Cappadocia Culture and Publicity Magazine, August 2008 issue. It is under protection of the copyrights of the magazine. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by electronic, mechanical or other means without prior permission from the owner. www.cappadociaexplorer.com

 


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Reading Reading: 3551 Eklenme Tarihi Date: 2009-06-23
Mesevli Church
Mesevli Church
Mesevli Church
Mesevli Church
Bezirhane Church
Bezirhane Church
Bezirhane Church
Bezirhane Church
Yusuf Koç Church
Yusuf Koç Church
Durmuş Kadir Church
Durmuş Kadir Church
Aziz Hieron Chapel
Aziz Hieron Chapel
Orta Mahalle Church
Orta Mahalle Church


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