Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Touring Turkey - The Goreme Open Air Museum

I've already shown you what we encountered on the way TO the museum, so here's the actual Goreme Open Air Museum itself. I know that I've been saying that people actually lived in these gorgeous rocks, but I am sure that you're wondering HOW they lived there. The Goreme Open Air Museum is one of the best preserved cave dwelling areas and during its height also served as a monastery and church area for early Christians.

The first glimpses of the caves from the museum's entrance

Yes, people lived in here.

The "museum" site is open for visitors to explore its walkways and caves.
This tunnel right outside the Elmali Kilise (Apple Church) leads to this....

Imagine walking through that every morning..

The Apple Church's frescoes are the best preserved in the entire museum, but you're not allowed to take pictures of it (I found a pic online). It's amazing to me that these paintings have survived for so long.

Elmali Kilise ceiling frescoe

The Elmali Kilise is definitely not the only church onsite. I can tell that the folks who lived here were very pious.

The altar of the Pantokrator Kilise (Church of the Pantokrator)

Columns in the Yilanli Kilise (Snake Church)

Even with a lot of prayer and reflection going on, the residents here also needed to live everyday lives, too.

The Kitchen! All of the black stuff is soot from baking.

I like to call this the cafeteria. Everyone congregated here for meals. Those benches look a little hard. :(

Besides eating and praying, I think the early Christian monks and worshippers picked this spot in Goreme for the views.

There's so much more to be said about this place, but I just wanted to give you a taste of how important and utterly impressive this is. My three days in Cappadocia were truly about learning how others used to live and to some degree often admiring the perseverance they had to find ways to worship in the manner they wanted. It also made me happy to live in the 21st Century (Did I even mention sanitation? Okay then...)


Deidre said...

I've been there! It truly is amazing isn't it?

I loved seeing these images on your blog - it brought back such great memories.

And you're so right, those benches look like they'd totally bruise one's bum.

Connie said...

Thanks for sharing! I took my mother to Cappadocia when she came to visit me in Turkey when I was living in Istanbul and we were both really impressed and awed by it. I think I have the same exact photo of the "cafeteria" too! =)

Micah and Catherine said...

I really want to go to Turkey now. I love this open air museum.

Diana said...

Wow I really need to get out and see the world! I tracked back to a few posts Ive missed...I love the unedited video! You're laugh is great :) Turkey just looks like an amazing place to nothing Ive seen before...even in photos! :) Hope you have a great day.


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