Pancarlik Valley & Church

Pancarlik Valley & Church

Over 1400 years, Christians worshipped at Pancarlık Church. Its eccentric architecture and unique position make it a worthy destination for travelers. The church was one of many buildings part of an ancient monastic settlement southwest of Urgup.

Pancarlık Church features a variety of idiosyncratic architectural elements, more extreme than those found in most other Cappadocian churches. Visitors often describe the design as bizarre and unusual.

Pancarlik Valley & Church

The church is a single-nave space with flat ceilings and an apse facing east. A deep grave is carved in the back corner of the room, perhaps for one of the founders of that church or monastery.

One of the many features of Pancarlık Church is a narrative fresco program, with twenty-nine paintings recounting the story of Christ’s life from birth to death.

The final event of Jesus’ life, his ascension to heaven, is visible on the outer wall in the window. The natural light from behind this painting makes it appear as if he has left for glory.

Multiple images of saints appear along with scenes from Jesus' life. There is a row of round icons on the lower roof, depicting 40 saints killed by Romans in AD 306; they are known as Martyrs of Sebaste. In the apse-arch (soffit), there are six Old Testament prophets, including Solomon and David. Saints Theodore and George can be seen at the bottom right side of the south wall.