GOREME (Avcilar) Avcilar Cappadocia
GOREME Avcilar Known as Matiana during the Roman era this small village is located near the church-complex, among clusters of “fairy chimneys”, troglodyte dwellings many of which are incorporated in the white-washed houses. The inhabitants are using the vast caves for additional rooms.
During the first half of the 2nd century, Matiana was a bisahopric and all the monastic colonies in the neighborhood belonged to the diocese of the resident bishop. There are five rock-cut churches within and around the village, identified only by Turkish names. The Durmuş Church (7th century) is well preserved, including its altar and carved columns. Its rather intact state tends to suggest that the sancturary was not used for long. The churches of Ortamahalle, Bezirhane and Yusuf Koc date to the late 10th, or early 11th century. The Karabulut Church (Black Cloud Church) in the vicinity is worth visiting.
One of Avcilar’s contemporary attractions is the Göreme Alabaster and Onyx Workshop where the visitor may observe how a hunk of raw onyx turns into a beautiful object of art in the hands of the skilled craftsmen. They are always received with traditional Turkish hospitality.