Goreme in Cappadocia

Cappadocia, Goreme, the Land of Fairy Chimneys, Rock Cut Churches

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The valley of Goreme in Cappadocia developed as an important monastic center after the Iconoclast Period (8th to 9th centuries), when icons and other figurative representations were prohibited. From the second half of the 9th century on, a number of small, single-nave churches were built in Goreme, the most outstanding examples being Kiliclar Kilise (first half of the 10th century) and Yeni Tokali Kilise (mid-10th century), both of which contain the finest Byzantine paintings in Cappadocia. The 11th century represents the "golden age" of religious art in Goreme. Three of the churches from this period are known as the "Columned Churches" because they share the same iconography and architecture. Goreme and two of its neighboring valleys, Kiliclar and El Nazar, have a great number and variety of churches. One cannot say exactly when monastic life ended in Cappadocian Goreme; however, no paintings dating later than the 11th century have yet been discovered.

Some of the churches have refectories with rock-cut tables and benches, and also contain small, undecorated rooms formerly used as storage areas, kitchens, and possibly dormitories. The manner in which these complexes were organized provides evidence of the existence of many small monastic groups.




Geological Formations
Fairy Chimneys
Goreme in Cappadocia
Uçhisar in Cappadocia
Zelve in Cappadocia
Ortahisar in Cappadocia
Çavuşin in Cappadocia
Goreme Village
Avanos in Cappadocia
Underground Cities
Soganli in Cappadocia
Ihlara in Cappadocia
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Cappadocia from Air




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Last modified: September 15, 2009