Most of the area surrounding the town of Göreme has been designated a national park (better than an American national park due to a noticeable lack of rangers or “parkies”, but worse than an American national park due to the fact that there was a considerable amount of trash and vandalism in a lot of the churches).  One very interesting attraction in the area is the Göreme Open Air Museum, which is made up of monasteries and churches built in very close proximity dating to the 10th, 11th, and 12th centuries.

Many of the frescoes have been well-maintained, and even a few have been restored. In several, though, we noticed that the faces had been scratched out. This is thought to have been a result of Byzantine iconoclasm, which prohibited the use of icons or graven images in churches.

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