Goreme Open Air Museum

The Göreme Açık Hava Müzesi (Göreme Open Air Museum) is a monastic complex carved out of the volcanic stone in Kapadokya (Cappadocia). The complex was carved out and decorated between 900 and 1200 AD. There are over 10 cave churches in the Göreme Open Air Museum, along with rectories, dwellings, and a religious school.

Most of the churches are fully painted inside with beautiful Byzantine murals. Most are in remarkably good condition, although nearly all the eyes of the painted figures have been gouged out by superstitious locals afraid of the Evil Eye. One notable exception is the Dark Church, whose walls were long protected by pigeon droppings. One of the recurring themes in these and other Kapadokyan churches is St. George slaying the dragon. According to local tradition, the event occurred on the summit of nearby Mount Erciyes.


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