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Selime Cathedral: A Majestic Structure Amidst Fairy Chimneys

Nestled in the Ihlara Valley of Cappadocia, Selime Cathedral stands as one of the region's most significant religious structures, rising amidst the mesmerizing fairy chimneys. Drawing thousands of visitors each year with its awe-inspiring architecture and historical significance, the cathedral has become an iconic symbol of Cappadocia. This remarkable structure is carved into the rocks and designed as a two-story cathedral. For a deeper understanding of Selime Cathedral, delve into the following information.


The History of Selime Cathedral:

The cathedral was built over a period spanning from the 8th century to the 11th century. Initially constructed as a monastery, the cathedral gradually evolved into the foremost religious center of the region. By the 12th century, the main church of the cathedral and the monastery buildings were expanded, giving it the appearance it holds today.



Architectural Features of Selime Cathedral:

Selime Cathedral is a rock-cut church constructed within fairy chimneys. The main church of the cathedral follows a basilica plan with three apses and a single nave. The dome of the church is made of stone. In addition to the main church, the cathedral contains various sections such as monastery chambers, a dining hall, a kitchen, and chapels.


Inside the cathedral, the columns divide it into different sections, giving the cathedral a unique architectural appearance. Selime Cathedral operates as a museum under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and has an entrance fee. Besides preserving the historical texture of Selime Cathedral, it also serves as a center where religious figures in the region were trained.


The rock-cut churches surrounding the cathedral are typically examples of Byzantine art. These churches bear witness to the region's religious and cultural history. Selime Cathedral is located at the end of the Ihlara Valley. Upon exiting the valley, fairy chimneys and the cathedral greet you. With its structure, caravan route, churches, fairy chimneys, and scenery, the cathedral is a favorite destination for tourists visiting Cappadocia. Selime Cathedral carries traces of many civilizations such as the Hittites, Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Danishmends, Seljuks, Karamanids, and the Ottoman Empire.



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