Cappadocian Cave Churches

Cappadocia in central Turkey has a long christian tradition. As it is easy to dig caves into the soft tuff rocks, the Cappadocian valleys became a home for eremites, monks and christian refugees. Many caves have been decorated with colourfull frescoes.

The Ihlara Valley is a deep canyon, cut into the rock by the small river Melendiz Suyu. Inside the valley is the small river and a lot of greenery. The walls of the valley contain many cave churches, chapels and monastries. Some of them with colou...
There are only a few people who find the way to Tatların, and the entrance to the cave church with frescoes from the 13th century is locked by an iron door. This explains why the old frescoes survived the stupid name carving vandalism.
There are only a few people who find the way to Tatların, and the entrance to the cave church with frescoes from the 13th century is locked by an iron door. This explains why the old frescoes survived the stupid name carving vandalism.
There are only a few people who find the way to Tatların, and the entrance to the cave church with frescoes from the 13th century is locked by an iron door. This explains why the old frescoes survived the stupid name carving vandalism.
There are only a few people who find the way to Tatların, and the entrance to the cave church with frescoes from the 13th century is locked by an iron door. This explains why the old frescoes survived the stupid name carving vandalism.
Cappadocia is an eroded landscape of volcanic tuffstone. Wind and weather created rocks in the funniest shapes. The tuff stores a lot of water and makes the valleys very fertile. For thousands of years people were digging caves into the soft tuffs...
Cappadocia is an eroded landscape of volcanic tuffstone. Wind and weather created rocks in the funniest shapes. The tuff stores a lot of water and makes the valleys very fertile. For thousands of years people were digging caves into the soft tuffs...
Archangelos monastery near Ürgüp in Cappadocia, with  Byzantine frescoes. Although they are covered from soot there is a lot visible. The monastery was in use until the 1st world war.
A very well preserved cave church in the tuff rocks of Soganli in Cappadocia. On the wall opposite the entrance are still some remains of the old frescoes.
Inside a small cave church with wallpaintings in the local Cappadocian style, about 11th century. Without protection it is only a matter of time until the 1000 years old frescoes will be completely destroyed.
The name of this place is Acik Saray, which means "open palace". The function of this cavecomplex is not clear. It is presumed, that it was built in the 11th century and served travellers as caravanserai.
The name of this place is Acik Saray, which means "open palace". The function of this cavecomplex is not clear. It is presumed, that it was built in the 11th century and served travellers as caravanserai.
The Ihlara Valley is a deep canyon, cut into the rock by the small river Melendiz Suyu. Inside the valley is the small river and a lot of greenery. The walls of the valley contain many cave churches, chapels and monastries. Some of them with colou...
This is a complex of several cave churches inside a big rock. Unfortunately the front is broken down. But it is easy to imagine, that the churches inside the rock were hardly visible from the outside. In ancient times it was common just to have a ...
Entrance room of a small cave church inside the Cappadocian tuff rocks. The walls show simple red paintings, which indicates an age of more than thousand years. The holes in the ground are graves, probably of monks.