Soganlidere Churches

The Urgup-Damsa road which passes through Taskinpasa that stretches for 13 km as an alley on both sides which poplars are planted ends up at Soganli. The Soganli Valley is at a distance of 500 m which is covered on foot.

This valley surrounded by hills and watered by a river is flanked by churches. Let us start with Tahtali Kilise on the left of the entrance. The name of this church is due to the wooden frames of the frescoes which are in a ruined state. It consists of two sections. The prayer rooms have niches and the walls are decorated with frescoes which are spoiled.

The entrances of these two sections in the shape of a narthex are also in ruins. The small church in the valley which is on the left hand side of the entrance to the village is a square. It has two niches, one being larger than the other. Candles were burnt in the small niches dug into the walls. The frescoes in the niche representing Jesus Christ and Mary and the frescoe of St. John on the wall are very impressive.

This church named by the people Karabas (Black Head) because of the darkened halos of the saints consists of a group of rock masses and is situated on the left. Here we have grave chambers, priests’ cells and large vaulted spaces. The frescoes still preserve their original freshness.

The Canavarli Kilise is on the right. The people is calling it Canavarli (with monsters) must have been due to the fresco representing St. John with the monsters. It consists of two sections with different entrances. On the surface of the walls and the vaults are richly decorated with frescoes.