Mother Church

Mother Church Mother Church Date
Mother Church Immediately left of the entrance of the Göreme open air museum, a tall, rugged cliff features a vast number of caves, windows, vaults and galleries that had once been the Rahibiler church, a nunnery which flourished between the 8th and 13th centuries.

Even today it is evident that the convent was very well organized and maintained. The apparently ten-story cliff comprises only three floors interconnected with stairways, galleries and secret causeways, the entrances of which were cleverly concealed. Judged by the size of the dormitories and the available seats in the refectory, the monastic colony could have accommodated 300 nuns. The four-domed church is adorned with 10th century murals of the archaic style with red as dominant color.

One of the third floor dormitories features a secret chamber with niches for icons and perhaps religious treasures.

The ground floor refectory has a single, rock-hewn table with benches and the customary bowl-shaped hollows for pressing grape. Adjoining the refectory is the one-time kitchen and pantry. Every part of the convent had once been connected by tunnels and stairways that could be blocked when necessary, using the large, heavy “millstones”, most of which are still extant.

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