Zelve-Saruhan-Pasabagi-Cavusin Zelve cappadocia Zelve Turkey
Zelve is situated on the northern slopes of Aktepe, 1km from Pasabaglari. The ruins at Zelve are spread over three valleys, which also house many pointed fairy chimneys with large stems. Zelve was an important settlement and religious area during the 9th and 13th centuries.
The first seminaries to priests were given here. The Direkli Church (with the Columns), situated at the bottom of the slope, dates back to the early years of monastery life in Zelve. The main decorations are high relief crosses belonging to the Iconoclastic doctrine. Some of the most important churches in the valley are Balikli (Fish), Uzumlu (Grapes) and Geyikli (Deer) Churches, dating to the Pre-Iconoclastic period. The valley was inhabited until 1952. Apart from monasteries and churches, houses, a tunnel joining two of the valleys, a mill, a mosque and several dovecotes are found in the valley.
Saruhan SaruhanIt is located in the valley of Damsa, 5km southeast of the town of Avanos in the vicinity of Nevsehir and 6 km north of Ürgüp. The han is on the Aksaray-Kayseri route in the east-west connection.
Saruhan, built during the reign of Izzettin Keykavus I -maybe upon his orders- in 1249, covers an area of 2000 m square. Yellow, reddish pink and light brown regular stone blocks were used as building material in Saruhan.
A decorative look was achieved by using stone of two different colours in the arches of both the monumental portal and the inner portal. In the outer portal, the upper parts of which partly collapsed, mainly geometrical decorations were used like in the other sultanhans. Its domed mescid, unlike other caravanserais, was built above the monumental portal. The doorway of the mescid, facing the courtyard, is decorated with squinches with mukarnases. To the left of the large courtyard is a portico with a fountain and to the right are the places for accommodation and bathing. The small lines on some of the stones used in the porticoes are stonemasons� marks. The hall where animals and their keepers stayed is similar to the ones in Aksaray Sultanhan and Agzikarahan. The oculus, seated on pendentives is quite plain.
The Han, the upper parts of which have collapsed in places, was returned to its original state with the completion of its restoration in 1991. After Saruhan, one of the latest examples of Sultahhans, the Seljuk Sultans did not have hans built.
Pasabagi Formerly known as the “Monks’ Valley” (Rahipler Vadisi), Pasabagi is situated about 1km from the Goreme – Avanos road. Many fairy chimneys with multiple stems and caps some housing chapels and living areas can be found here, this style being unique to this area.
A chapel dedicated to St. Simeon, and a hermit’s shelter is built into one such fairy chimney with three heads. The entrance of the cell, which can be reached with a chimney like narrow tunnel, is decorated with antithetical crosses. Inside the shelter are an oven, living and sleeping areas and small windows to let the sunlight in.
St. Simeon was living in seclusion near Aleppo in the 5th century, when rumours that he worked miracles started to spread. Disturbed by all the attention, he began to live at the top of a 2m high column, and later moved to one 15m in height. From there he only descended occasionally to get the food and drink brought by his disciples.
The hermits of Cappadocia distanced themselves from the world by cutting into fairy chimneys rather than living on top of columns. They hollowed out the chimneys from bottom to top creating rooms 10 – 15m high. They lay on beds made from rock.
Cavusin Cavusin is situated 2 km from Goreme, on the Goreme – Avanos road. The Church of St. John the Baptist offers a panoramic view of the village. This church and its paintings date back to the 5th century, making it the oldest church in the region. It had a large courtyard, which is unusual for Cappadocia; this has been eroded away however.
Christian missionaries and communities once lived in the old Cavusin valley, now in ruins. There are 5 churches at Güllüdere, close to Cavusin. The Hacli Church (with the Cross), near the valley, was also used for defense against the Arab raiders.
The Cavusin (Nicephorus Phocas) Church This barrel vaulted church, with one nave and three apses, is situated 2.5km from Goreme on the Goreme-Avanos road. Its narthex is collapsed. The church was built around 964/965.
Scenes On the vault are Annunciation, Visitation, Proof of the Virgin, Flight into Egypt, Joseph’s Dream II, Blessing and Mission of the Apostles, Adoration of the Magi, Massacre of the Innocents, Pursuit of Elizabeth, Killing of Zacharias; on the west wall are Joseph and Mary After Proving, Journey to Bethlehem, Nativity, Last Supper, Betrayal of Judas, Anastasis, Baptism; on the north wall are Jesus before Pilate, Way of the Cross, Crucifixion, Death of Christ, on the south wall are Entry into Jerusalem, Raising of Lazarus, Healing of the Blind Man, Descent from the Cross, Women at the Tomb; (on the wall of the apse Transfiguration; on the north apse Emperor Nicephorus Phocas and his family, which held power and authority in Cappadocia.)