One of the most important cultural heritages in Cappadocia, Selime Cathedral is the largest monastery in the region. Also known as the Selime Monastery or Selime Castle, the cathedral has different natural structures and different human-made structures. It is located between the villages of Yaprakhisar and Selime, which was home to different civilizations including Byzantine, Persian, Hittites, and Ottoman Empire.
If you are interested in history and want to understand the past, you must visit this site. Around 300 thousand visitors who visit this site annually get a never-before experience and express the desire to visit the site once again. Every year, the site sees an increase in the number of visitors, which shows that this historical site is getting the recognition it deserves.
The monastery has a huge sized church, which is divided into three sections by two rows of rock columns. The huge size of the church and the monastery itself shows the significance of the castle. The monastery also contains quarters for monks, two halls, a stable for mules, and a large kitchen. The kitchen was built within the cathedral and lamps were used as a lighting source. It has a unique structure that indicates its special use at that time.
The complex is situated above the Menderes River, which gives a complete view of the valley and provides a great defensive edge. There are two courtyards, which extends over 100 meters. The kitchen, bathing room, and hall are situated in the first courtyard, whereas, the second courtyard contains halls and churches.
Many monks and clergies used to live here as indicated by the monk’s living quarters. You can see the quarters from the inside and get a better idea of their living style. If you want to learn more about how they spend their lives, you should analyze the whole structure.
The kitchen was built on the left side of the courtyard, which contains decorated façade and tandir pits. It has a tall pyramid ceiling with a chimney built in the center that enabled the smoke to exit. A thin tunnel connects the two halls in the castle. The first hall has a flat roof and a unique design and a bench in the lower section, which was used for resting. You can also see an undamaged bed, horseshoes arched, and a protective barrier. It can be understood easily from the design of the hall that it was the center of a lot of social activities.
The second hall, whose purpose was to receive guests and conduct ceremonial meals is 17m deep, around 6m wide and 8m tall. It might have been used for reading as well as the window and door allow light to enter into the hall. The hall is primarily divided into two sections by a step. The honored guests were taken into the upper section. The cooking pits have given the roof a black shade, but the whole hall was plastered.
If you want to see Cappadocia’s largest church, you can go to the upper courtyard and see the Basilica church. The church dates back to the 9th century as indicated by the wall paintings. The church has three aisles divided by two arcades, which shows great designing skills. Basilica church also has features that are found only in the Georgian churches like a throne chair, alternating pillars, and a donor panel.
If you go across the road from the complex, you would see another famous stop for visitors. A monumental tomb, Selime Sultan Tomb, the only example of its kind in the Anatolia region. The tomb is conical with an octagonal base. If you take a deep look at its architectural design and the materials used to build it, you would notice that it probably dates back to the 13th century.
The site is opened to the public for certain hours (Morning 07:00 – Evening Time: 7:00). You can reach here in your vehicle or if you want to use public transport, you can take a bus from Nevsehir center or Aksaray center. There are different places where you can dine and there are different cafes that offer coffees as well.