old name of Gulsehir, situated on the southern bank of the Red River, 20km
from Nevsehir, is Arapsun and in ancient times it was called "Zoropassos".
The Ottoman Grand Vizier Karavezir Mehmet Seyyid Pasha did the same thing
in Gulsehir as Damat Ibrahim Pasha did in Nevsehir and a Kulliye was built
in the town, which had only 30 houses. The complex consisted of a mosque,
a Medrese and a fountain.
mosque, having the characteristic features of the Ottoman architecture,
was built using blocks of stone of two different colors. The dome covering
the main area is seated on four arches.
Ruins of Aciksaray
important area of ruins is situated 3km from Gulsehir. There are
numerous rock cuttings including Roman tombs, and churches dating back
to the 9th and 10th centuries in this important bishopric.
formations in the shape of mushrooms are unique to this area.
Karsi Church (of St John)
two floor church of St. Jean, found on entering Gulsehir, houses a church,
wine cellar, graves, water channels and living quarters on the lower floor,
and a church decorated with Biblical scenes on the upper floor.
The lower floor church is built to the shape of a cross, has one apse and
arms of the cross are barrel-vaulted. The central dome is collapsed. Stylized
animals, geometrical and crucifix designs are used to decorate the church
in red ochre, which was applied directly onto the rock. The upper church
has one apse, and is barrel-vaulted. Apart from those on the apse, the
well-preserved frescoes were covered in a layer of black soot. The
church's present state owes to the restoration and conservation done by
Ridvan Isler in 1995.
The scenes from the life of Jesus and the Bible are in the form of friezes
within the borders. Yellow and brown have been used on a black background.
On the niche vault and on the sides, floral and geometrical patterns were
used. On the west and south walls Last Judgment can be found, a scene rarely
depicted in Cappadocian churches.
According to the inscription on the apse, the church is dated to 1212.
Deesis on the apse, on its front Annunciation, below bird designs, on the
barrel vault portraits of saints in medallions, on the south wing of the
vault Last Supper, Betrayal by Judas, Baptism, below Koimesis (Falling
Asleep of Mother Mary), on the north wings of the vault Descent from the
Cross, Women at the Tomb, Anastasis, on the West and South walls Last Judgement.