Cappadocia is one of the most important centers for Christianity. Christianity that emerged in Jerusalem spread over time, and as Christians were subjected to various atrocities, they sought settlements in order to worship freely and defend themselves. One of the most important ones of these settlements is Cappadocia.
Cappadocia region, in the 4th century BC. became the center of Christianity and printed its name in history as the place where the most basic doctrines were determined. When Christians first came to the region, they encountered the Jews living in the region and decided to settle in Cappadocia after they had accepted them. In time, a Christian community was formed in Cappadocia. In this transformation, the people living in the region, also known as “Cappadocia Fathers”, had a great influence.
Today, Cappadocia continues to be one of the most important destinations for Christians. The artifacts left by Christians living in the region in the ancient period are also of great interest today and are admired for their breathtaking beauty that will take the breath away of those who come to Cappadocia for faith tourism. In this article, we will talk about important routes for Christianity and address churches in the region. but first, we will briefly pass on information about the saints called ‘’The First Fathers of the Church’’.
The Fathers of Cappadocia Churches
St. Basil was born in an atmosphere where Christianity began to take shape and the heretic and Orthodox distinction sharpened. Basil, who received his first education in Cappadocia, later lived in Athens. Basil, who grew up in the area of Caesarea, which is now called Kayseri in 329 – 330 AD, received the nickname “Great” because of his contributions to Christianity. He forms the first “Cappadocia Fathers'' trilogy with his brother Gregory of Nissa and his close friend Gregory of Nazianzus. Saint Basil became a source of inspiration for the Church Fathers who would come after him with what he performed during his life. He also gained respect for his works, which he left aside from defining Christian culture.
Gregory of Nyssa
Gregor of Nissa, who was the brother of Saint Basil and also served as a bishop, adopted monastic life to live Christianity. St. Gregor, who was appointed as a bishop of Nissa against his will, had Orthodox Trinity ideas and had adopted new Platonistic ideas. He was a major influence on the writers of the church of the East and West.
Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nazianzus, who was among the Fathers of Cappadocia, defended his beliefs with written works and Oratory Competitions in Anatolian lands with Gregor of Nissa and St. Basil.
Cappadocia Churches and Monasteries are a Must-See
Christians undoubtedly have many reasons to come to Cappadocia. The churches and monasteries in the area offer the opportunity to make a mystical journey into the past. Göreme Open-Air Museum is a completely different land on its own. There are many monasteries and chapels in Göreme, which inspired St. Basil.
In the region, The Chapel of St. Basil, The Chapel of St. Barbara, The Church with snakes, The Church with Tsarikli, The Dark Church and The Church with Tokali stand out at first glance. Elmalı Church, located on the right side just beyond the Girls' Monastery, fascinates everyone with its unique decorations and architectural features. The fact that each dome of the structure with 9 domes symbolizes religious teachings emphasizes the spiritual importance of the structure as well as the architectural beauty.
Although it is not in the borders of the Göreme Open-Air Museum, the Church of St. Eustathios, which can be visited during a tour of the region; between the Tokali Church, known as the oldest rock church in the region, and the Church of the Virgin Mary, has a fascinating effect on visitors. The Church, which is described as the only example in Goreme with its architectural structure, also depicts scenes from the Bible. Another Cappadocia saint who attains the order of sainthood is Saint Mamas. The Tomb of Aziz Mamas is located within the borders of Gökçe Village.
There are Christian artifacts all over Cappadocia, not only in the Göreme Open-Air Museum. Churches, chapels and monasteries carved into the rocks, as well as underground cities, are the signatures of the region.