Pancarlık Church, Mustafapaşa

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Pancarlik (Beet) Church, near Urgup, Cappadocia, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Dramatic Ceiling

The Pancarlık Kilisesi (Beet-ly Church) may take its name from the intense color of its frescoes, or perhaps some of the designs looked like beets to the modern Muslim inhabitants who wandered in and gazed in amazement at the marvelous paintings.

The church itself is amazing: a “fairy chimney” cone of volcanic tufa standing more or less alone out in the countryside off the road 2 km (1.2 miles) from Ürgüp on the road to Mustafapaşa, some distance from the famous Göreme Open-Air Museum.

Perhaps because it was off by itself in the countryside in a sturdy tufa cone, the Pancarlık (pahn-JAHR-leek) seems to have escaped much of the damage suffered by churches in more populous areas.

To get this photo, I put my camera on the floor of the church pointing straight up. Easy shot! One of the easiest and best photos of Turkey I’ve ever taken.

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