- 2019-02-27 11:02 AM
The walls of the churches of Cappadocia are vibrant amid barren land.
The region of Cappadocia, famous for its unique rock formations in central Turkey, boasts a number of the world's most famous rock-carved churches, attracting about one million tourists each year to see its colourful frescoes, many of which still maintain its vitality despite nearly a thousand years of painting.
The churches of Qaranlik, "Stop" and "Mali" attract the greatest attention, as they are better off among the churches of the region, and their murals, painted 10 centuries ago, are vibrant.
The churches are located within the open-air museum, where the visitor sees only the opening of rocky formations filled with holes in the middle of a barren land, but after climbing these holes and sometimes passing tunnels, he finds himself face to face in front of the colourful church murals.
These paintings depict many scenes, including the paintings of "the Prophet Issa and Mrs. Mariam", "The Birth of Issa", "The Last Supper", "Saint Georges and the Dragon", and so on.
According to the director of the Noşehir Murad Golaz Museum, the churches "Qaranlik", "Tqal" and "the Malian" are the third place in attracting tourists among the historical places in Turkey, where an average of 1 million tourists visit each year.
He pointed out that those churches bore importance to the Christians of the world because of their unique frescoes, and their historical religious value, where he lived in that region, for example, Saint Basil, who was president of the first Christian church in the east.
Golaz drew attention to the difficulty of retaining frescoes in churches, as they could be affected even by the breath of visitors, so many measures are taken to preserve them.
The "Stop" church features a mural that has no parallel in the world, depicting the life of Jesus as he was born until his death, Golaz said.
He said that two million and 150,000 people visited the three churches last year, pointing out that most of the visitors until several years ago came from Spain, Italy, Germany and France, and now tourists from the Far East, foremost among them the Chinese, are leading the visitors.
The "Mali" and "Qaranlik" churches have been renovated over the past years, while the renovation of the "Stop" church, led by Italian experts, is underway.
The American tourist Lauren Mills, 60, said she came to Turkey because she was longing to visit Cappadocia, adding that she felt as she watched the historical church in the churches, as if she had returned to live in that age.
Indian tourist Somet Chahoya, 39, said he was happy to see the murals, which still retain their beauty despite all these years.