Dark Church

Top choice in Göreme

The highlight of Göreme Open-Air Museum is the stunning and fully restored Dark Church, famed for the vivid colours and excellent preservation of its frescoes. The modern name of the church is due to the lack of windows, which is also the reason the fresco colours survived so well. The walls and ceilings here are fully covered with Biblical depictions including Christ as Pantocrator, Christ on the cross and the Betrayal by Judas.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Göreme attractions

1. Chapel of St Catherine

0.02 MILES

The small Chapel of St Catherine is the next church down the path from the Dark Church. Inside are frescoes depicting St Catherine, the ubiquitous St…

2. Sandal Church

0.03 MILES

This 13th-century church has frescoes depicting the four gospel writers (below the central dome) and the Betrayal of Judas (in the arch over the door)…

3. Apple Church

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The 12th-century Apple Church (Elmalı Kilise) overlooks a valley of poplars below. Relatively well preserved, it contains both simple, red-ochre daubs and…

4. Snake Church

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The Snake Church (or Church of St Onuphrius) got its modern name when locals mistook St George's ubiquitous dragon-foe, depicted in a fresco here, for a…

5. Rahibeler Monastery

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Downhill from the Sandal Church, the cordoned-off Rahibeler Monastery was originally several storeys high. It's thought that this building served as a…

6. Chapel of St Barbara

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It's posited that Byzantine soldiers carved the 11th-century Azize Barbara Şapeli (Chapel of St Barbara), dedicated to their patron saint who is depicted…

7. Chapel of St Basil

0.08 MILES

Dedicated to Kayseri-born St Basil, this is the first church you come to inside the Göreme Open-Air Museum. The main room holds frescoes of St Basil (left…

8. Göreme Open-Air Museum

0.09 MILES

This Unesco World Heritage site is an essential stop on any Cappadocian itinerary. First thought to be a Byzantine monastic settlement that housed some 20…