Zelve Open Air Museum Zelve is situated in a village around 10 km from Goreme and 7 km from Avanos town. Until 1924, Christians and Muslims coexisted peacefully in this area. However, the expulsion of minorities signalled their eventual departure. This happened again in the 1950s due to the danger of erosion. The inhabitants relocated to a new village called Yeni Zelve (or Aktepe). Zelve is an open valley with a large cave settlement on the northern slopes of Aktepe. It is situated about 1 km from Pasabag Fairy Chimneys. While Zelve does not have as many rich frescoes as other Cappadocian sites, it contains countless rooms and passages that house many pointed "fairy chimneys" with stems at about 40 feet above the valley floor. During the 9th and 13th centuries, Zelve was a monastery. Christians sought refuge here during Persian and Arab invasions. The earliest seminaries to train priests are located at the monastery in Zelve. The Direkli Church (with famed columns), which dates back to early seminary life, is also featured at Zelve. Located at the bottom of the slope is the Direkli Church, which has high relief iconoclast crosses as its main decorations and dates back to before the Iconoclasm era. Visitors can also find the Balikli Kilise (Fish), Üzümlü Kilise (Grapes) churches, and Geyikli Kilise (Deer church), which were built during the Pre-Iconoclastic period. In 1967, Zelve was transformed into an open-air museum. The valley contains a mill and other small houses, as well as two valleys linked by a tunnel. Pigeon nests are also present in the area. While the churches at Zelve are not as numerous or impressive as those at the more famous Göreme Open Air Museum, the valley features more dramatic topography and more freedom for exploration.