Sitting in the renowned region of Cappadocia, Turkey, the town of Goreme is a huge tourist attraction for many years because incredible natural rock formations known as the “fairy chimneys” ;.Believed to own been carved to the volcanic rock, Goreme is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Goreme National Park, which includes a one-of-a-kind landscape.
The park and the Goreme valley is just a strong reflection of Byzantine art, which flourished throughout the Iconoclastic period. Here, you’ll find not only the famous chimney rock formations by also the ruins of traditional habitats that were built such as for example underground towns, residences, and troglodyte villages, dating as far back as the 4th century. Goreme is fairly small and can easily be navigated on foot. In the event that you don’t wish to walk, you can also rent bicycles, scooters and motorcycles to access specific locations. The nearby underground cities of Derinkuyu and Kaymakli in addition to the more expensive towns of Avanos and Urgup can easily be reached from Goreme through public transport, particularly bus and mini buses.
Once you reach Goreme, you can easily arrange a tour from one of the several travel agencies that offer day trips to the underground cities and the ancient churches. Most excursions also incorporate a trip to a quaint shop that sells local products like pottery and carpet. But the key site to explore in this region is the Goreme Open Air museum, which is actually only a 15-minute walk from the town center. This fascinating museum features a wonderful series of fairy chimneys and caves, which were turned into monasteries and churches. By paying the admission fee, you’ll get access to all individual sites in the complex including the church in a cave, situated outside the museum entrance and across the highway.
Walking through the museum offers you the chance to find out about and admire closely the geological formations, and how men in the early times, used them to be places of worship and sanctuary. Some of the churches still maintain their original frescoes and geometric motifs. There are eleven refectories in the museum complex that are equipped with their own church in addition to rock-cut chairs and tables. Such churches are believed to own been built throughout the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries.
Among the more important sites in the Goreme Open Air Museum is the Nunnery. This rock mass goes as high as 6-7 stories. Ensure that you visit the initial and second floor of the Nunnery which has the dining hall and the chapel, respectively. You are able to access the next story of the building, where in actuality the church resides, by way of a tunnel. Of all the churches in the complex, the Dark Church or Karanlik Kilise generally seems to attract visitors the most, although there is an extra charge for those who need to enter this church.