Life in the carved houses of the village of Çavuşin is 5 km. from the Goreme Valley, continued until 1960. This village and its close environs offer a wide range of alternatives for walkers and hikers in its exceptional natural landscapes.
You can take a two-hour walk starting from Urgup-Nevsehir highway in the Kızılcukur Valley. There are 12 churches in Cavusin. The most important one is Grand Güvercinlik Church, built-in 964-965 by the Byzantian Emperor Nicophoras Phokas for the soldiers who fought and defended Cappadocia against the Arab armies.
Çavuşin is a village in Turkey’s Cappadocia region, located in the Avanos district of the Nevşehir province. Located about 5 kilometers north of Göreme, it can be found on the road connecting Avanos and that city. The original settlement was built on and around a prominent ridge of rock that can be seen from far away. In the early 1960s, when there was concern that the villagers’ old homes would collapse, they were relocated to more modern dwellings near the main road. Despite its proximity to the tourist hotspot of Göreme, Çavuşin had previously received little attention from visitors. Çavuşin in Cappadocia has always been a popular tourist destination, but the 2010s saw an influx of new hotels, especially in the historic center of the village.
In the first centuries after Christ, the settlement may have gone by the name Kodessane.
Çavuşin has two impressive rock-cut churches. St. John the Baptist is honored by two different namesakes.
The first of these churches is easily discernible from the road because a large section of its facade has collapsed, revealing two enormous frescoed angels. The interior frescoes of the church show many well-known Bible scenes, such as the Nativity. The frescoed figures of soldiers in uniform that cover the lower section of the north wall are more creative. During a time when Christians were being persecuted in the early fourth century, they were forced to take off their clothes and walk out onto a frozen lake to die. These people are shown here as the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, which is now called Sivas.
Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phocas (a Cappadocian on his mother’s side) and his wife Theophano commissioned some fascinating frescoes. The church was precisely dated to 963–969 due to the Emperor’s travels to Cappadocia around the turn of the 10th century. John Ash’s book, A Byzantine Journey, details the emperor’s downfall and the possible role Theophano played in it.
The second, older church in the village is a bit more hidden, but it’s well worth the effort. The carved decorations inside this massive, soot-blackened basilica from the early 6th century are far more interesting than the now-obscured frescoes. St. Hieron, a minor saint with ties to Göreme, may have had relics housed in a cross-shaped hole in the apse’s floor.
A cluster of fairy chimneys can be seen from the bluffs above Çavuşin, making it easy to imagine how the wind and rain of countless centuries whittled away at the solid rock to form Cappadocia’s distinctive formations.