nazar2Just 10 minutes' walk off the road leading from the centre of Göreme to the Open Air Museum is the frescoed 10th-century El Nazar Kilise which has been restored by UNESCO. As a result the battered old church is now enclosed inside what looks like a giant molar.

Inside the small church has an internal dome covered with frescoes of the Pantocrator surrounded by the Apostles. The dome covers a cruciform church. The Crucifixion is painted on the north wall with one of the two thieves accompanying Jesus at his death. 

The church is open to the public daily in summer in return for a small admission fee. If the Open Air Museum is looking very busy, you have little time or you aren't overly excited about frescoed churches but would like to have a quick look at one then this is a good option. After inspecting it you can take a path back to Göreme that winds round the back of the Zemi Valley with its astonishing phallic fairy chimneys. nazar3

Just a short walk away is the equally lovely Saklı Kilise. Unfortunately this is not currently open to the public on a regular basis. 

Transport info

The El Nazar Kilise is within easy walking distance of Göreme. If you're returning from Ürgüp or Ortahisar you could hop off the bus at the start of the signed path leading to the church. You can also get here on the hourly bus from Avanos or Çavuşin.


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