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DURMUŞ KADİR KİLİSE, GÖREME

durkil1Just a short walk from the centre of Göreme off the start of the path to the Pigeon Valley (Güvercin Vadisi) is an interesting Byzantine rock-cut church, the Durmuş Kadir Kilise, that goes little visited probably because it lacks the colourful frescoes that are such a drawcard for the nearby Yusuf Koç Kilise. Both churches are named after the men who owned the land on which they stand. 

This is one of the oldest churches in Göreme, believed to have been built in the pre-Iconclastic period, in the 6th or 7th century. A huge space, it has three aisles and an unusual free-standing ambo or pulpit. It also retains a rock-cut sanctuary screen.

Some scholars think it may have been the cathedral of Macan, the original settlement on this site. However, others suggest that the church looks as if it was barely used and suspect it was abandoned at an early date, perhaps following one of the Arab raids. 

The facade of the church is elaborately carved but was later pierced by pigeon houses, some of them with decorative entrances for the birds. 

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