Religious Centers of Rocky Cappadocia

The term “Rocky churches of Cappa­docia” is generally used for the villages and monasteries established on the volcanic masses of Mount Erciyes and Mount Ha­san. They are especially concentrated around Ürgüp, Ortahisar, Göreme, and Soğanlı. The rocks were hollowed for religious and sett­lement purposes. But they are different from the other churches of Anatolia. On the other hand, they show a special character in num­ber and in concentration around Ür­güp and the Peristrema Valley.

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Archaic Period in Cappadocia

The Archaic churches of Cappadocia were built just after the Iconoclastic Period (Second half of the 9th and first half of the 10th century.) These make up 35% of the total. After the Iconoclastic period ended in 843, the monks began building many chur­ches. They began with Pre-iconoclastic the­mes. The paintings on the walls and arches are about the childhood and life of Christ, the pictures following each other like a car­toon-film.

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Paintings of the Archaic Period are al­most on the same theme but different in style.

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History of Cappadocia Part 2

You can read the first part of the article by clicking here: History of Cappadocia

In the middle of the 9th century, after the Arabs’ retreat, Cappadocia was no longer a battlefield and became one of the central provinces. During the 10th century Caesarea, being the largest city, was the headquarters of an important military confederation. At about this time the. Seljukian Empire was rapidly growing by invading Anatolia. They captured Caesarea in 1067.

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History of Cappadocia

Following the Apostolic age, we have a fair amount of information about Christianity in coastal Anatolia, On the other hand, not much is known about first-century Cappa­docia. Nevertheless, it is obvious that an important number of Christian communities existed during the second half of the second century. In the third century, priests of strong personality made the territory a lively center of religious life. At that time Christianity was at its peak.

In the fourth-century Cappadocia was renowned as the home of the Three Great Cappadocian Saints;

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