Goreme Open Aır Museum
Goreme Open Air Museum Just outside of Göreme village is the UNESCO protected site of Göreme Open-Air Museum; a monastery cluster of rock-cut churches and monk-cells that hold fabulous frescoes. The complex dates from the 10th to 12th centuries when Cappadocia was an important Byzantine religious centre. There are several churches and chapels within the complex but the most important are the Elmalı Kilise (Apple Church) with its Ascension fresco above the door; the Azize Barbara Şapeli (Chapel of St Barbara) with its red-ochre interior decoration; Yılanlı Kilise (Snake Church) with its wall-paintings of St George and interesting fresco of the hermetic hermaphrodite St Onuphrius; the stunning and superbly restored frescoes of the Karanlık Kilise (Dark Church); and the cavernous Tokalı Kilise (Buckle Church) with its dazzling wall-paintings that cover the entire barrel-vaulted chamber. The museum is one of Turkey’s top highlights and Cappadocia’s most famous tourist attraction. Some of the frescoes have been badly defaced, as until 1964 the chapels were not supervised and the value of the frescoes was not appreciated.