Goreme Town of Cappadocia Turkey,
If churches in the rocky villages are examined it is seen that each one of them has a different way of development. Some of them were built earlier than others. Ruins are extending from the early ages up to the Byzantine Period. Some were built after the Arab invasion and Iconoclastic period. There are even some churches built under the Seljukian occupation. Goreme is the place with the highest concentration of religious centers. Unlike Avcilar, it was a religious more than an agricultural settlement. During the early Christian age, it was a modest place connected with Avcilar and Cavusin. Amongst the innumerable churches and chapels in Goreme, only one of them can be dated as a 6th or 7th century. It is an oratory split into two after a rockfall. A painting of the face of Christ and an ornamented cross in the arch is visible. Goreme began to develop just after the Iconoclastic period. There are numerous churches and chapels dating from the second half of the 9th and first half of the 10th century. The Kiliclar church is the largest of them. Its paintings are of high quality, decorated with best ornaments of the Byzantine age. The “Three Columned Churches of Goreme” (Elmo”, Karanlik and Qarikli) are also decorated with frescoes. There is another group of chapels with a single aisle, built on a cross plan, dating from the 11th century. Inside these, simple straight lines and strange figures resembling the holy people are used instead of well-painted frescoes. The churches in Goreme and the neighboring valleys El Nazar and Kiliclar are so large in variety and number that it takes at least a couple of days to see all of them completely.
We should here note that 10th-century churches are on the right-hand side of the valley and 11th-century churches are on the south end. There is no painting in Goreme that can be dated later than 11th century. G6reme was used as a religious visiting place by the Greeks living nearby. Later on, it was opened to visitors as the Open-air Museum of Goreme.