Feb. 5, 2019: Goreme Open-Air Museum, Turkey

 

Cappadocia is a region known for its natural beauty and interesting human history. Wind and rain carved the soft rock into gorges and pinnacles creating the regions unusual appearance.

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The Goreme Open-Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a vast collection of churches, chapels and housing carved into the rock formations. Because sunlight and rain didn’t penetrate some of the sanctuaries, many of the frescoes portraying Christ and religious saints that decorate the caves are still brightly colored..

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There are eleven refectories. Each is associated with a church. Most of the churches date to the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries. In addition to the frescoes, there are furnishings and other features carved from the porous rock including tables, benches and beds as well as staircases and crosses carved at the entrances.

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The Dark Church, for example, dates to the end of the 12th century. In addition to saints, Christian scenes are painted on the walls including the journey to Bethlehem, the nativity, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. 

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