Sarica Church – One of Many

6 june 2007
There are over 400 churches and chapels in Cappadocia. One has been lovingly restored

   The award for Conservation of Architectural Heritage will be presented at the Europa Nostra Annual Congress this week to the Sarica Church in Cappadocia (Turkey), part of the Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia World Heritage site. Having suffered from severe surface erosion due to rainwater infiltration, cracks and flaking, this remarkable example of a rock-carved Byzantine church was rescued, restored and made accessible to visitors. The project principally involved the restoration of the wall paintings, the construction of a new drainage system and the replacement of the eroded rock of the facade with a covering of harder local tuff of similar colour.

Rock-carved church
A private company, Vasco Travel, restored the church in order to contribute to the sparse public money that the Turkish State invests in the Cappadocian heritage. The project began in 1997 and the restoration commenced in 2001. The project sponsored by Vasco Tourism Investment Industry and Trade Inc. and carried out by KA.BA Conservation of Historic Buildings and Architecture Ltd over seven years, makes the Sarica Church stand out as a rare example of a successfully restored and revitalised rock-carved church in Cappadocia, says Europa Nostra in its presentation of the award.  

In the promotional brochure Vasco Travel claims that the project has given the company much positive feedback not least in the aftermath of 9/11.