GOREME ( Matiana / Maccan / Avcilar )

Goreme, situated 10 km from Nevsehir, is found in the area surrounded with valleys, within the Nevsehir-Urgup-Avanos triangle. The old names for Goreme are Korama, Matiana, Maccan and Avcilar. Since Goreme was referred as Korama in the earliest written document known from the 6th century, it is thought that that is the oldest name given to the place. In that document, it is said that St. Hieron was born in Korama at the end of the 3rd century, was martyred in Melitene (modern Malatya) with his 30 friends and his hand was cut off and sent to his mother in Korama. A very big depiction of St. Hieron of Korama is found in the Tokali (Buckle) Church in Goreme Open Air Museum.

It is believed that Goreme and its surroundings were used as a necropolis by the people of Vanessa (Avanos) in the Roman Periods. Both the monumental twin pillared Roman tomb hollowed out into a fairy chimney in the centre of Goreme and the presence of numerous tombs in the vicinity support that idea.

Goreme, an important Christian centre in the early years of the Middle Ages, was a bishopric administered by Mokissos near Aksaray in the 11th and 13th centuries. Despite the vast number of monasteries, churches and chapels in the vicinity of Goreme, there are not many inscriptions bearing dates. For this reason, these religious buildings are mainly dated according to the iconography or architectural features.

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