Been there. It’s pretty rad. I love the banquet table and benches carved out of the tufa. When I was in that room a bunch of German tourists were posing for a picture at the table. It would have been a cool picture if they had steins of beer.
After yesterday’s visit to Barcelona, we now travel to another part of the world with a guest post written by shuraiya, one of my earliest followers on tumblr. I always notice and appreciate every one of her likes, reblogs, and replies so I am more than happy that she has submitted a piece on Turkey, a country not a lot of people know much about, myself included:
The Göreme Open Air Museum is located in Cappadocia, in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey. While not necessarily weird per se, it is definitely unusual and beautiful in all the best ways.
Humans have consistently inhabited the Göreme Valley since the 4th century, due in part to its unique topographical makeup. Formed in a volcanic eruption, the tuffaceous rock has eroded over thousands of years into the charming fairy chimneys that Cappadocia is known for the world over. The rock is so soft that it crumbles under your fingertips; without timber at their disposal, the settlers in Cappadocia quickly took advantage of their environment and dug out an impressive series of houses, churches, and monasteries. Many of the homes are still inhabited today, while others have been converted into hotels and retrofitted with modern amenities for tourists.
Designated the first Turkish UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, the Göreme Open Air Museum consists of Basil Kilise (St. Basil’s Church), Elmali Kilise (the Apple Church), Azize Barbara Kilisesi (the Church of Saint Barbara), Yılanlı Kilise (the Snake Church), Çarıklı Kilise (the Church with Sandals), and the Karanlık Kilise (the Dark Church).
Dating from the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries, the churches boast gorgeous Byzantine frescoes and seccos depicting fairly typical Christian imagery— saints, martyrs, and Biblical scenes. The tiny, dark spaces are sparsely lit, either by daylight filtering in or by flickering light bulbs strung along exposed wire.
This museum is a typical first stop on many Cappadocia guided tours, but you may want to return on your own. I was part of a tour group and our time at the museum was limited to around 45 minutes. That definitely isn’t enough time to explore all of the churches, especially the Dark Church, which requires a separate admission fee (8TL/$4). If you want to go at your own pace, you can take an audio tour (offered in several different languages), or take a self-guided tour by taking the time to read the placards outside each church.
In all, the 15-23TL ($7.50 - $11.50) entrance fee is well worth the money. But, if religious art isn’t your thing, you can always visit another popular outdoor attraction nearby: Love Valley (NSFW)!
(Image Source 1 & 2)