The old name of Gulsehir, situated on the southern bank of the Red River, 20km from Nevsehir, is Arapsun and in ancient times it was called “Zoropassos”. The Ottoman Grand Vizier Karavezir Mehmet Seyyid Pasha did the same thing in Gulsehir as Damat Ibrahim Pasha did in Nevsehir and a Kulliye was built in the town, which had only 30 houses. The complex consisted of a mosque, a Medrese and a fountain.
The mosque, having the characteristic features of the Ottoman architecture, was built using blocks of stone of two different colors. The dome covering the main area is seated on four arches.
Gulsehir The Ruins of Aciksaray
This important area of ruins is situated 3km from Gulsehir. There are numerous rock cuttings including Roman tombs, and churches dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries in this important bishopric.
Rock formations in the shape of mushrooms are unique to this area.
The Karsi Church (of St John)
The two floor church of St. Jean, found on entering Gulsehir, houses a church, wine cellar, graves, water channels and living quarters on the lower floor, and a church decorated with Biblical scenes on the upper floor.
The lower floor church is built to the shape of a cross, has one apse and arms of the cross are barrel-vaulted. The central dome is collapsed. Stylized animals, geometrical and crucifix designs are used to decorate the church in red ochre, which was applied directly onto the rock. The upper church has one apse, and is barrel-vaulted. Apart from those on the apse, the well-preserved frescoes were covered in a layer of black soot. The church’s present state owes to the restoration and conservation done by Ridvan Isler in 1995.
GulsehirThe scenes from the life of Jesus and the Bible are in the form of friezes within the borders. Yellow and brown have been used on a black background. On the niche vault and on the sides, floral and geometrical patterns were used. On the west and south walls Last Judgment can be found, a scene rarely depicted in Cappadocian churches.
According to the inscription on the apse, the church is dated to 1212.
Gulsehir Deesis on the apse, on its front Annunciation, below bird designs, on the barrel vault portraits of saints in medallions, on the south wing of the vault Last Supper, Betrayal by Judas, Baptism, below Koimesis (Falling Asleep of Mother Mary), on the north wings of the vault Descent from the Cross, Women at the Tomb, Anastasis, on the West and South walls Last Judgement.