Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
January 9, 2010
From journal Away With The Fairies
by Owen Lipsett
New York, New York
December 7, 2009
The Dark Church (Karanlik KiliseThe most interesting and the most recent church in the museum, this church dates to the 12th century and derives its name from either the fact that it is hidden (you have to follow a winding tunnel to reach it) or the fact that its frescoes almost hidden before they were restored. It’s worth the extra 10 TL (which also makes it relatively unpopular) because it contains the finest frescoes in the museum, apparently the extra cost is intended to help pay for their continuing restoration. Although the frescoes are well lighted, it’s worth bringing a flashlight (as some guides do), to examine the details. The frescoes themselves present the life of Christ, including the Annunciation, Nativity, Baptism, Raising of Lazarus, Entry into Jerusalem, Last Supper, Betrayal of Judas, Crucifixion, and Transfiguration.The Apple Church (Elmali KilisePerhaps with the most vivid colors of any of the churches in the museum, and the best preserved of the churches, this church has frescoes of both old and New Testament scenes. In some cases, where these frescoes have fallen off or were destroyed by time (or iconoclasts), there are harmonious red ornamentation instead. Indeed, harmony is an important element of the decoration of this church, it’s impressive how seamlessly the scenes depicted complement the carved contours of the church and vice-versa. Unlike the Dark Church, where the dominant background color is blue (derived from expensive azurite), in the apple church, the background is primarily the gray of the rock, further contributing to this harmony. The church’s name derives from the fact that there used to be an apple orchard in front of it, which has long-since collapsed.
The Buckle Church (Tokali Kilise)This is the largest and best preserved church and actually located on the far side of the road, outside the valley in which the other churches in the museum are located. You show your ticket from the rest of the museum to enter. It consists of both an "Old Church" and a further "New Church" hewn out of it, although both date to the 10th century. The Old Church section contains various scenes from the life of Christ, as does the New Church, but they are from distinct styles with very different color palettes. Since many scenes, such as the Crucifixion, are repeated in both sections, I found it interesting to compare the changes in style and improvements in physically representing human beings accurately between the two churches.
From journal Cappadocia: A Basic Guide to the Moonscapes
Shirley, New York
March 14, 2008
From journal The Cappadocia Checklist
September 14, 2004
It is easy to imagine this place in ancient times, long before the Christians arrived. They hid and lived in this former monastic community of 30 plus churches (9th to 12th century), some of them illustrated with beautiful frescoes.
Saint Basil organized communal monasticism. He was a strict ascetic and came in search of solitude. Soon his followers arrived and a pattern of meditation and communal work took hold.
Left of the entrance as you enter from the parking lot is a six-story convent.It contains a kitchen, refectory, and, on the third floor, a cross-shaped chapel and cells of the nuns connected by tunnels. Large round stones remain there ready to block the passage in times of danger. We saw these huge millstones many times during our visits and in the underground caves as well.
In the Sandal church (all the churches are named for objects found there), the footprints are said to be those of Christ. There is also a wonderful fresco of Judas’ betrayal.
Another interesting chapel was the Dragon church, which has a serpent fresco and a fresco of St. Onuphurius (Never heard of her), who was said to be so beautiful that men constantly pursued her. They say she asked God for help and that her prayers were answered. She was given a beard and moustache (no neet in those days’ girls)!
Several saints adorn two sections, one domed the other flat-roofed, that are accessible from a kitchen, then through a very narrow passage. Frescoes of St. Thomas and St. Basil appear beside a half-male, half-female figure, I am not sure of the meaning. After listening to our guide interpret so many paintings, they were beginning to blur, and, at that point, I had given up on my notes. Plus, it was almost time for lunch.
I didn’t describe all the churches. I know I can’t do it in 500 words, but in order to make the most of your time here, come prepared to climb, stoop, and crawl, then make some time to find a quiet spot to enjoy the lovely and unusual landscape - it is unforgettable.
Nearby are the villages of Urgup and Nevishir Located in a canyon beneath cliffs, they are riddled with cave dwellings.
Urgup is the main tourist center, there are many guides for hire. The guides charge from $80 per day and speak fluent English, have vast knowledge,and know the area well.They can be contacted through the tourist office. It is a unique and pleasant village - cobbled streets lined with charming houses and a small commercial center. Many tour groups seek accommodation there.
Facilities at the open-air museum include: a café, washrooms, and a souvenir shop with postcards, books. This museum alone warrants a trip to Turkey. Cost of admission is US$5.
From journal Fascinating, Mysterious Turkey. Cappadocia, Konya
Santa ROsa, California
November 18, 2002
You can pay extra money to see the Karanlik Kilise (Dark Church), which is a cave church with exquisitely preserved frescoes, and worth the admission fee. The paintings are mostly biblical, and might be tough to understand without a guide, but there are enough around that you should be able to just listen in on one.
There is a cafeteria at the entrance to the museum (of course). The site itself doesn't take that long to walk around, but give yourself some time to explore everything. A few hours should suffice.
From journal You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike
December 30, 2000
Another reason that Goreme is famous is for its churches. When people talk about churches, edifices come to mind. At Goreme, the churches are distinguished from the houses by the primitive frescoes that are carved into the ceilings of the cave dwellings. Some of the churches that left an imprint on me is the Sandal Church, mainly because it was one of the first we came upon, and because it was named for the marks of footprints outside the door, with a frescoe showing Judas' betrayal. Another is the Dark Church, named such because the few windows had allowed the frescoes to be preserved. Most interestingly, the church had what can be called a basement. On a lower level was a larder, kitchen, and refectory with tables and chairs cut right into the rock. The list goes on and on. What is unbelievable is that within a short loop path followed by most tourists, you would pass my so many churches. I started to wonder how each can attract followers, or whether there is a schedule where the church would take turn to do ceremonies, or whether people just go to church every spare minute they had. It's something I have not managed to learn.
From journal Cappadocia - a place full of wonders