GÖREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM
Coordinate: 38º30’52.15’’K 34º39’46.73’’D Height: 1419 m
It is located in 2 km east of Göreme. It has become a very important monastery center from the 9th century. Substantial churches of Cappadocia are located in here. Sisters Monastery is located at the left of the entrance of Göreme Open Air Museum. Churches, dining hall, kitchen and a few rooms in this huge rock show that the monastery was used as a complex. Monastery of Priests is located at the right of the entrance of Göreme Open Air Museum. Chapel of St. Basileos is dated to 11th century. The Apple Church which is dated to mid-11th century and the beginning of the 12th century is one of the leading churches of Cappadocia with its architectural characteristics and rich frescoes. Geometrical and cross motives belonging to Iconoclasm can be seen under the disintegrated frescoes. The Church of St. Barbara and Snake Church are dated to 11th century. The Dark Church is one of the most precious churches for its portraiture. The frescoes have survived in a good condition for it receiving low light. It is dated to the end of the 11th century. The Ascension of Jesus and the Act of Apostles scene on the ceiling of narthex is fascinating. Three Mary as Magdalene at the left, Wife of Clopas at the center and mother of Jesus at the right are portrayed together in the well-preserved crucifixion scene. The Chapel of St. Catherine located in between The Dark Church and Çarıklı Church was built by a woman named Anna in the 11th century. Çarıklı Church is located in high parts of a rock mass. It is dated to the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century. It gets the name from the footprint that looks like a shoe track under the frescoes of Jesus’ ascension into heaven. The Church of the Buckle (Tokalı) which is one of the leading churches of Cappadocia consists of a combination of two churches that were built in different times. It is the biggest church of Göreme Valley. Old Tokalı is the entrance of the new church. It is a leading church where religious scenes are embroidered in chronological order. New Tokalı is dated to the second half of the 10th century. It has a rectangular plan, single nave and it is covered by a barrel vault. It is stated in an inscription located in the north abscissa that the church was built by Constantine and Leon, and the painter was Nikophoros. A new bigger church is revealed with the combination of old Tokalı and New Tokalı.
Church of Virgin Mary which is located on a steep sloop in the south of Kılıçlar Church is dated to the first half of the 11th century. Kılıçlar Church which is located in Kılıçlar Valley is dated to the end of the 9th century and the beginning of the 10th century. Inside of the church is decorated with rich frescoes depicting the Biblical topics and saints.