» Çanlı Kilise near Çeltek/Tzeltekon, Moribason (Aksaray) - with a splendid view «
In lonely landscape lies the ruin of the late Byzantine (13th century) Çanlı Kilise near the village Çeltek. In the background the extinct volcano Hasan Dağ rises with 3268m. Together with the 3916m high Erciyes Dağ it is one of the main responsible for the formation of Cappadocia when the country was covered with tufa layers by huge eruptions. At the beginning of the 20th century the church still had a roof with a dome. Photos of it were published in 1909 in the book "The Thousand and One Churches" by William M. Ramsay and Gertrude L. Bell. Gertrude L. Bell later became famous for her espionage and consulting activities in Iraq. In 1921 she was jointly responsible for the appointment of Faisal as the first king of Iraq and the border lines drawn with a ruler. Faisal, who came from the Arabian Peninsula, was a stranger to the Iraqis, but loyal to and dependent on the British. The consequences of this arbitrary founding of a state, which was about nothing other than the power interests of the European colonial powers, are more than clearly noticeable today.
Back to Cappadocia with all villages
The Çanlı Kilise is located on a slope. From here you have a great view over the plain with a few villages and small volcanic cones. The background is dominated by the massif of Hasan Dağ 20km away.
Unique in Cappadocia is the valley side with ornamental brick bands. Architects and clients of this unusual and sophisticated architecture are unfortunately unknown.
Next to the stone church there is an extensive cave system with economic areas and small cave churches. In later times they were equipped with these niches. They were offered to pigeons as nesting places to obtain valuable guano for fertilizing the fields.