• Cappadocia Planet


Selime Cathedral, located on western Cappadocia, is one of the largest cave-complexes of the region. It dates back to 8th and 9th centuries but the depictions in Cathedral section dates to 10th - 11th centuries. It was carved into the rocky hill and possibly enlarged depending on the need in time. Moreover, serving for religious purposes, it was used as a military base for the region.

The way to the main terrace

Actually, we may compare it with the underground cities because it was a huge cave complex completely carved into the hill and sections connected to each other by means many tunnels. While you are walking up to the main terrace today, you'll pass through the tunnels that partially collapsed and you can dream that anyone coming to the cathedral saw the windows and some small terraces like balconies on the hill but they wouldn't have imagined the caves and tunnels going into the hill.

The Cathedral is also on the location of Ihlara Canyon of Cappadocia and trade route passing the region. Besides being a religious complex and a military base, it was also a trade center. For the Byzantine era and afterward The Seljuk Rule, it was the safest place for the caravans. It means that it was the caravanserai, too. As a conclusion, it was everything they needed.

Church of Selime Cathedral

Initially, you'll walk the path up to the main terrace to see the main sections but on the way, many other sections as winery, food storages, stalls etc. On the main terrace, sections as kitchen, a dovecot, monastery, church, cathedral, chapel and cave rooms used for any purpose. Actually, it goes up into the rock as well. When you look up, you can see a section looking like a small balcony as the highest section but because of the safety concerns, the way up is closed for visits. Anyway, it's a nice detail to have an idea of how big it is.

Cathedral -The depiction above the doorway
Cathedral -Depictions between and inside the vaults

On the contrary to the other cave churches of Cappadocia, the depictions were not done in all cave sections and the ones remained are not really clear to see because in the later periods anybody used the cathedral for different purposes, they had fire in the caves. Today, only, the depictions can be seen in Cathedral section on the main terrace.

Apart from the paintings in the Cathedral, you may see some interesting figures carved in sections. They look like a more primitive type of decoration such as a goat in the winery and two figures of dinosaur-like animals. Possibly, they had paintings on them once.

The room carved into the formation on the main terrace is especially recommended for the view of the fairy chimneys nearby the Cathedral. Besides being a nice view, it's also called 'Star Wars Movie Place' because of the similarity to the ones in the movie. But it wasn't here.

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