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 byzantine cave church of Tagar had been cut into the rock in the shape of a cross. The wallpaintings are dated to the 11th century.
This cave church had been built above the old village of Cavucin inside a huge tuff rock. Originally it had a front with several columns which were visible from far away, but an earthquake made the whole front break down. After the Greek-Turkish p...
Pancarlık Kilise: The mainly green and red frescoes are from the end of the 9th century. This church was in use until 1922 and the candles indicate that there are still people coming to pray.
This rock contained hundreds of cave houses. To many to withstand a small earthquake in 1963 which caused severe damages and forced the people to move to the valley. Here we are underneath the old cave church with a completely broken down front pa...
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.
This cave church (10./11.century) is in the Cappadocian Kızılçukur-Valley. The apse shows the incarnation of God and the roof is decorated with a monumental cross. - UNESCO World Heritage
Meskendir valley between Cavusin and Göreme in Cappadocia, with cave churches and tuff rocks. UNESCO World Heritage since 1985.
Side room or grave chapel in the Üc Hacli Kilise (= church with the three crosses). The three crosses are a monumental roof decoration in the neighbouring room.
According to recent researches this is the big residence of a wealthy family. From the big courtyard you can enter several rooms. One contains a big church with 5 domes and a funeral chapel. In the apse is a fresco, dated to the 13th century, whic...
Small cave church inside the Cappadocian tuff rocks. The walls show simple red paintings, which indicates an age of more than thousand years. Cut into the rock this small church (or chapel) looks like the churches made of stone. Although not neces...
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 Durmuş Kadır Kilise in Göreme is a small cave basilica with three naves; probably 10th/11th century.
Ruin of a Byzantine cave church with some very damaged frescoes.