is situated on the northern slopes of Aktepe, 1km from
Pasabaglari. The ruins at Zelve are spread over three
valleys, which also house many pointed fairy chimneys with
large stems. Zelve was an important settlement and religious
area during the 9th and 13th centuries.
The first seminaries to priests were given here. The Direkli
Church (with the Columns), situated at the bottom of the
slope, dates back to the early years of monastery life in
Zelve. The main decorations are high relief crosses
belonging to the Iconoclastic doctrine. Some of the most
important churches in the valley are Balikli (Fish), Uzumlu
(Grapes) and Geyikli (Deer) Churches, dating to the Pre-Iconoclastic
period. The valley was inhabited until 1952. Apart from
monasteries and churches, houses, a tunnel joining two of
the valleys, a mill, a mosque and several dovecotes are
found in the valley.
is located in the valley of Damsa, 5km southeast of the town
of Avanos in the vicinity of Nevsehir and 6 km north of
Ürgüp. The han is on the Aksaray-Kayseri route in the east-west
Saruhan, built during the reign of Izzettin Keykavus I -maybe
upon his orders- in 1249, covers an area of 2000 m square.
Yellow, reddish pink and light brown regular stone blocks
were used as building material in Saruhan.
decorative look was achieved by using stone of two different
colours in the arches of both the monumental portal and the
inner portal. In the outer portal, the upper parts of which
partly collapsed, mainly geometrical decorations were used
like in the other sultanhans. Its domed mescid, unlike
other caravanserais, was built above the monumental portal.
The doorway of the mescid, facing the courtyard, is
decorated with squinches with mukarnases. To the left of the
large courtyard is a portico with a fountain and to the
right are the places for accommodation and bathing. The
small lines on some of the stones used in the porticoes are
stonemasons marks. The hall where animals and their keepers
stayed is similar to the ones in Aksaray Sultanhan and
Agzikarahan. The oculus, seated on pendentives is quite
The Han, the upper parts of which have collapsed in places,
was returned to its original state with the completion of
its restoration in 1991. After Saruhan, one of the latest
examples of Sultahhans, the Seljuk Sultans did not have hans
Formerly known as the "Monks' Valley" (Rahipler Vadisi),
Pasabagi is situated about 1km from the Goreme - Avanos
road. Many fairy chimneys with multiple stems and caps some
housing chapels and living areas can be found here, this
style being unique to this area.
chapel dedicated to St. Simeon, and a hermit's shelter is
built into one such fairy chimney with three heads. The
entrance of the cell, which can be reached with a chimney
like narrow tunnel, is decorated with antithetical crosses.
Inside the shelter are an oven, living and sleeping areas
and small windows to let the sunlight in.
Simeon was living in seclusion near Aleppo in the 5th
century, when rumours that he worked miracles started to
spread. Disturbed by all the attention, he began to live at
the top of a 2m high column, and later moved to one 15m in
height. From there he only descended occasionally to get
the food and drink brought by his disciples.
The hermits of Cappadocia distanced themselves from the
world by cutting into fairy chimneys rather than living on
top of columns. They hollowed out the chimneys from bottom
to top creating rooms 10 - 15m high. They lay on beds made
Cavusin is situated 2 km from Goreme, on the Goreme - Avanos
road. The Church of St. John the Baptist offers a panoramic
view of the village. This church and its paintings date back
to the 5th century, making it the oldest church in the
region. It had a large courtyard, which is unusual for
Cappadocia; this has been eroded away however.
Christian missionaries and communities once lived in the old
Cavusin valley, now in ruins. There are 5 churches at
Güllüdere, close to Cavusin. The Hacli Church (with the
Cross), near the valley, was also used for defense against
the Arab raiders.
The Cavusin (Nicephorus
This barrel vaulted church, with one nave and three apses,
is situated 2.5km from Goreme on the Goreme-Avanos road. Its
narthex is collapsed. The church was built around 964/965.
On the vault
are Annunciation, Visitation, Proof of the Virgin, Flight
into Egypt, Joseph's Dream II, Blessing and Mission of the
Apostles, Adoration of the Magi, Massacre of the Innocents,
Pursuit of Elizabeth, Killing of Zacharias; on the west wall
are Joseph and Mary After Proving, Journey to Bethlehem,
Nativity, Last Supper, Betrayal of Judas, Anastasis, Baptism;
on the north wall are Jesus before Pilate, Way of the Cross,
Crucifixion, Death of Christ, on the south wall are Entry
into Jerusalem, Raising of Lazarus, Healing of the Blind Man,
Descent from the Cross, Women at the Tomb; (on the wall of
the apse Transfiguration; on the north apse Emperor
Nicephorus Phocas and his family, which held power and
authority in Cappadocia.)