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Treasure hunters destroyed the Kubbeli church built in the 14th century

The rock-carved Kubbeli church built in the 14th century in Soğanlı Valley, known as the entrance gate of Cappadocia, was destroyed by treasure hunters.

The Soğanlı Valley, where there are nearly 50 rock churches and caves, including Kubbeli church, is located in Yeşilhisar, 65 km from Kayseri province in Turkey.

Photo: DHA

Soğanlı has been used as a settlement area since the Roman Period. The Romans used the Rock Spaces on the slopes of the valley as cemeteries and the Byzantines used them as churches. Soğanlı became one of the centers of Christianity in Cappadocia from the IV century A.D. and maintained its importance in the VII and VIII centuries.

Thousands of people visit the 8 rock churches decorated with fresco of Jesus Christ and the apostles every year.

Photo: DHA

The rock-carved Kubbeli church, which attracts attention with its different architecture, was unfortunately destroyed by treasure hunters.

According to the news in DHA, the frescoes depicting Jesus Christ and his apostles and scenes from the Bible were damaged. Each fresco was covered with writings in different languages.

Photo: DHA

The heavy damage to the walls of the churches drew the reaction of visitors and residents of the region.

Bedri Sapmaz, a tourist guide in the Cappadocia region, said, “The Greek Orthodox Church is decorated with scenes of Jesus Christ and Mary taken from the Bible. Unfortunately, the church has been deformed.”

Photo: DHA

“There is reverse architecture in our region. Especially the center of Cappadocia, which we call the core region. Soğanlı can be considered a little more historical, closer to our day compared to central Cappadocia.” Bedri Sapmaz gave the following information.

“The churches in the core region were built between the 11th and 13th centuries, while the churches in Soğanlı are Greek Orthodox churches built between the 14th and 15th centuries. The most important aspect of the Kubbeli church is that the dome was built.

We can see in this church that human beings started to shape the exterior architecture. This architecture is named after the church dome. The scenes of Jesus Christ and Mary taken from the Bible are decorated.

Photo: DHA

Unfortunately, the church has been deformed. I regret to say that these are the cultural richness of our country, I hope we can pass them on to future generations.”

On the other hand, according to the information received from the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism officials, the historical church is closed to visitors and restoration work is expected to begin this year.

Cover Photo: DHA

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