Göreme Open Air Museum The Goreme Open-Air Museum resemblesa vast monastic complex composed of scores ofrefectory monasteries placed side-by-side, eachwith its own fantastic church. It is obviously thefirst sight to be visited by any traveler inCappadocia, standing as it does in the verycenter of the region with easy access from alldirections.
It is only 15 minutes walk (1.5km, 1 mile)from Goreme village center. It contains thefinest of the rock-cut churches, withbeautiful frescoes (wall paintings) whose colorsstill retain all their original freshness. It alsopresents unique examples of rock hewnarchitecture and fresco technique. The GoremeOpen Air Museum has been a memberofUNESCO World Heritage List since 1984, andwas one of the first two UNESCO sites in Turkey.
In the 3rd century, priests with goodcharacter changed the region into a lively centreof Christian activity. In the 4th centuryCappadocia became known as the land of thethree saints; The Great St. Basil, Bishop ofKayseri; his brother St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St.Gregory of Nazianus. St. Basil founded small,secluded settlements far away from villages andtowns.
Daily worship was carried out under thesupervision of a preacher. These groups were not,however, privileged groups separated from thecommunity like similar communities in Egypt andSyria. St. Basil is important in that he introducedworship within the community in the churches ofCappadocia. Göreme Open Air Museum is theplace where this kind of religious education wasstarted. The same model was then introduced inSoğanlı, Ihlara and Açıksaray.
The entrance fee to the museum is 15 TLper person. In summer, it is better to visit themuseum early in the morning or late afternoon,instead of mid-day. There are many churchesand chapels in Goreme Open Air Museum butthe most important ones are ;
• St. Basils Church (Basil Kilise)• Apple Church (Elmali Kilise)• St. Barbara Chapel (Azize Barbara Kilisesi)• Snake Church• Dark Church (Karanlik Kilise)• St. Catherine Chapel• Sandal Church (Çarikli Kilise)• Buckle Church (Tokali Kilise)
Snake Church (Yılanlı kilise) Entrance Decoration
Snake Church (Yılanlı kilise) St. George slaying the dragon
St. Barbara Chapel (Azize Barbara Şapeli) A giant locustsymbolizing evil on one wallopposes two crosses on theother, while a roosterrepresenting the devil isbattled with bricksrepresenting the Church.Other strange creatures andshapes are more difficult tointerpret. The figurativefrescoes include ChristPantocrator, St. George andthe Dragon, St Theodore, andSt Barbara.
St. Basils Church (Basil Kilise) Holy Marry and Baby Jesus «left side» St. George slaying the dragon «right side»
St. Basils Church (Basil Kilise) St. Theodore on Horse
St. Catherine Chapel (Azize Catherine Şapeli) St. Catherine chapel is between KaranlıkChurch and Çarıklı Chuch and dated 11thcentury. Only noa section is decorated.According to the tale Saint Catherine saw JesusChrist in her dream and when she woke up shesaw the ring of Jesus on her finger. She lived inEgypt as a Hermit and tought christianity tomany people. After she died she is announcedas a saint by the Vatikan.
Nunnery The 6-7 storey rock mass to the left of the museumentrance is known as «The Nunnery». The dining hall,kitchen and some rooms on the first floor, together withthe ruined chapel on the second level, can still be visited.The church on the third storey, which can be reachedthrough a tunnel, has a cruciform plan, a dome with fourcolumns and three apses. The templon on the main apse is rarely found inGoremes churches. Besides the fresco of Jesus, painteddirectly onto the rock, designs painted in red can also beseen.
Nunnery The different levels of the monastery areconnected by tunnels, and "millstone doors", suchas those found in the underground cities, and wereused to close off these tunnels in times of danger. The remarkable rock-carved convent with sixstories of tunnels, corridors, stairways andchambers. It housed as many as 300 nuns at anyone time.
Göreme Open Air Museum Info• Admission Fee: 15 TL• Address: Müze yolu, Göreme/Nevşehir• Internet Siteshttp://www.muze.gov.tr/goreme-en, http://www.muze.gov.tr/goreme-en• Note: The internet sites contains “Virtual Tours”.
Göreme Open Air Museum Info• E – mail:firstname.lastname@example.org• Visiting Hours 08:00 – 17:00 (Ticket booths are closing 30 minutes or an hour before the museum closing time.)• Note: The museum has no restaurant or gift shop in the museum. Its to protect the historical and natural enviroment. There are some gift shops at the Car parking area.
İsak UZUN, History of architecture and arts, AWF, Erasmus, 2012THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTİON