Halfway between Göreme and Ortahisar hides one of the most charming rock churches in Cappadocia. It is the Symmetrical Church (tr. Aynalı Kilise), called so because of its geometric ornamentations, mirrored on the opposite walls. Exploration of the interior and the adjacent monastery complex is a great adventure for all travelers who are not afraid of the dark and narrow, steep passages.
The entrance to the church is through a small side room. The church, carved into the Cappadocian rock, has a nave and two aisles. Its barrel vault is supported by four columns with solid bases. The church's interior is decorated with simple geometric designs in red and white. By the analysis of these patterns, the researchers speculate that the entire religious complex was built in the 11th century.
From the church, you can go to the next, spacious rooms, decorated in a similar style. There is a bench carved in the rock, and attentive explorers can spot the wall paintings of a scorpion and an archer in a high headdress.
To the next room leads an opening, which in ancient times was closed by a millstone. This system is also known from many underground cities in Cappadocia. From here you can climb to a higher floor, through a narrow and dark staircase cut into the rock. The hall located above was used as a dovecote, as evidenced by numerous niches in its walls. Another passage, down the tunnel, leads from here to the room located behind the church.
The opening times of the Symmetrical Church remain a mystery. The entrance fee is paid, and 2015 it cost 5 TL. For this price, a helpful caretaker will take you on a tour of the interior, indicating the most interesting decorative elements. He will also provide visitors with very useful flashlights.
On foot: Symmetrical Church is situated about 2 km away from the center of Göreme. The last part of the route leads uphill.
With public transport: you can catch a bus leaving every hour from Ürgüp to Göreme, or even more frequent bus from Ürgüp to Nevşehir. In the latter case, you should ask the driver to stop at the intersection with Göreme-Ortahisar road and walk the final section of the road on foot.
By car: Symmetrical Church is located 1 km north from the junction of Göreme-Ortahisar and Nevşehir-Ürgüp roads. The exit dirt road leading to the church is clearly marked with a brown signpost. On-site you will find a small, free parking lot.