A historical and elegant church in Cappadocia, Sivisli Church is an example of brilliant craftsmanship. It is one of the first churches built by Christians in this region. It is located in the Guzelyurt District, which is a part of the Aksaray Province. The whole region is historically rich and contains many significant structures.
It’s situated on a hill near St. Gregory Church Mosque. It’s carved out of a rock, but some sections were also built with carved stones. Centuries ago, the church served as a welfare source for the poor, as the doctors would check them for free. The rooms would be used to accommodate the patients.
It’s not confirmed when the Sivisli Church, also referred to as Saint Anargirios Church, was build. But, what’s confirmed is that the leader of the church received a donation from the Ottoman Sultan Murat IV. He was returning from the Baghdad victory expedition when he made this donation and it helped in making some additions to the church.
The church has some frescoes left, believed to be painted in 1877. This significant religious structure was turned into a pottery workshop in 1924. But, it still contains all the important religious elements like the cross and the glad windows and frescoes.
Inside, there is a central dome structured on four rock columns and the surrounding is well laid out. Around the church, there are several similar structures and rock tombs. The church has been restored and it’s in a better condition. The groves in the rocks and the ground served as the water sources for the church and the arcs were cleaned. The purpose of these arcs was to drain water, but over time, sand and soil were filled in them. To avert water from entering, chemicals were put in the grooves in the rocks.
It’s definitely a highly recommended place to visit, but we also suggest visiting the St. Gregory Church Mosque. It’s one of the few examples of churches turned into mosques in this region. The district of Guzelyurt has many churches and the Sivisli church is one of them. Taking a long walk in the Monastery Valley is also recommended.