Cavusin Village, located between Avanos and Goreme towns, is surrounded by a valley, which becomes gradually wider, called as Red Valley. By the beginning of 20th century, the village had a composed population with many Christian Orthodox families. The houses were actively used until 1924 when population exchange had happened between Greeks and Turks. All the Christian citizens from this village and all over Turkey had to leave their country to Greece as well as all the Turkish Muslim citizens in Greece had to move out from Greece to Turkey because of the same population compulsory. According to the officials, about 1.2 million Christians left Turkey while about 600.000 people came from Greece.
The people coming from Greece were accommodated in the houses of Greek villagers who left their villages. As the number of people arriving to the village was much less than the people left from the village, most of the houses were abandoned and nobody is still using these houses. Most of the houses were unfortunately left to the mercy of the weather for decades. This old village was abandoned in 1950s after the population exchange because of falling rocks. The government evacuated the entire village and subsidized the new houses on the safer plateau area.
The houses of the village were cut into massive rock formations. The insides of many of the dwellings are exposed to natural erosions such as rain, wind and earthquakes too. They are covered in rubble, huge rocks and boulders. You can climb up to top of the village through a twisty path, which offers breathtaking views of Red Valley and Uchisar Castle. There is also a church called asSt. John the Baptist from 5th century on top of the village. This church is the second oldest church in Cappadocia and has a unique fresco of “The Murder of St. John” even though the other paintings have been destroyed.
The other church in Cavusin Village, Nicophoras Phocas, is one of the best protected churches in Cappadocia . This church has almost all the life of Jesus on paintings and in pretty well-protected form. The church has been built after the order of Byzantine Emperor, Nicophoras Phocas, when he visited Cappadocia in 960s. The church is dating back to around 965 and has the painting of Nicophoras and his family as well.
Some of the scenes at this church are:
Annunciation, Visitation, Proof of the Virgin, Flight into Egypt, Joseph’s Dream Ii, Blessing and Mission of the Apostles, Adoration of the Magi, Massacre of the Innocents, Pursuit of Elizabeth, Killing of Zacharias; on the west wall are Entry into Jerusalem, Raising of Lazarus, Healing of the Blind Man, Descent from the Cross, Women at the Tomb; on the wall of the apse the Transfiguration; on the north apse Emperor Nicophoras Phocas and his family.