During the Byzantine period, some 360 churches and monasteries were built by excavating Göreme’s earth pillars consisting of volcanic tuffs. Their walls were decorated with religious paintings such as the one in the photo.
Göreme, located among the “fairy chimneys” rock formations, is a town in Cappadocia, a historical region of Turkey. It is in the Nevsehir Province (spelled Nevşehir in Turkish) in Central Anatolia. The Göreme National Park (Göreme Milli Parklar in Turkish) was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Listing in 1985.
Goreme village is easily accessible by road from all directions, especially through Nevsehir. The Ankara – Adana highway approaches from the northwest, the Aksaray – Nevsehir from the southwest, and the Kayseri – Urgup highway from the northeast. The national park can be reached on foot from the village.
The national park consists of valleys with the world-famous rock formations of Cappadocia, the conical shaped rocks shaped over centuries out of eroded volcanic stone, and known as Fairy Chimneys.
In addition to the fascinating landscape formed by the volcanic tuff and cave dwellings, there are also important Byzantine churches, which reflect the history of religious art in that period. Because of the geological characteristics of the area, and the fact that it was secluded, people living here could hide themselves away from the various battles taking place, as well as from the authority of the central administration.