Cavusin Church is an extraordinary 1,000-year-old church that is carved into the rock face in Cappadocia. It attracts visitors with its ancient artworks on religious themes and intricate network of tunnels leading to carved rooms. Meander through the maze of passageways to the church’s 10 rooms spread across three stories.
Note the features of the church, such as its high nave and three apses. Browse the many rooms of the cave to get an idea of its size. The cave’s original tunnels connect some of the rooms, while modern staircases provide access to others. Imagine the religious services that took place here a millennium ago.
The rooms of the church feature well-preserved paintings that date back many centuries. Admire the works of art, which depict the religious figures of angels and disciples. Note the array of colors in the frescoes and gaze up at the remarkable ceiling painting of Christ and the Apostles. The collection of paintings includes Joseph’s Dream, Raising of Lazurus, Healing of the Blind Man and the Transfiguration among the biblical imagery.
From the surrounding cliffs, capture photos of the rock formation that contains the church. Take advantage of excellent photo opportunities from within the church looking out over the village of Cavusin.
The church is also known as Nicephorus Phocas, after a former Byzantine emperor. There is a fee to enter the church. Visit another popular church in the Cavusin area, St. John’s Church. It dates back to the 5th century and is free to visit.
To find Cavusin Church, drive north for 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) past scenic terrain and parks from Göreme in the center of Cappadocia. The area of Cavusin is about halfway between Göreme and the built-up area of Avanos. As with many of the sites in Cappadocia, you can either drive and park for free or ride with a tour bus.