Coming from Ankara, after travelling through Ihlara and Nevsehir, one arrives at Urgup. After leaving Nevsehir, one notices the striking fortresses of Uchisar on the right and Ortahisar on the left, rising out of the plains. Let us now visit Goreme, 7 km. from Urgup
Since it is easy to get to, not far from the road, it is always the first place to visit, and also the place which tends to stay in the memory when Cappadocia is referred to. Here, churches generally consist of three naves, and mostly date from the 9th century and after. The earli- est church in the district was built in the 1st century. After the iconoclastic period, the walls of this church were decorated with scenes from the scriptures.
It is evident that two different techniques have been used in the decoration, the first, a more primitive style of painting directly onto the rock, the second, which is to be seen in churches of the 11th/12th century, is a type of painting over plaster, which provided a flat sur- face for more sophisticated motifs, and finer detail. Some of the older churches have rock drawings which have been covered with wattle and daub, and re-painted. Now let us look at the other churches of Goreme. On the left of the entrance to this open-air museum can be seen a steep rock which houses a convent.
This has six storeys. The third storey contains a cruciform chapel with cross-vaulting, which is decorated with red designs.
The remaining traces indicate that this belongs to the 11th century. The first and second storeys contained a refectory and kitchens which are much damaged, while the cells of the nuns are still to be seen, connected with tunnels.
On the forth and fifth storeys can be seen the mill-stones used in the event of attack. Opposite this is a monastery with the same plan. Soon after this one comes on the Elmali Church.
Above text and pictures are from the book titled "Cappadocia The Poetry Nature Etched On Earth".
You can purchase "Cappadocia The Poetry Nature Etched On Earth" book and other Turkey related books from Explore Turkey Bookstore.