The small village of MUSTAFAPAŞA, 6km south of Ürgüp, makes for a pleasant excursion or, with your own transport, a good base for explorations. Its charm lies in its concentration of attractive konaks with carved house facades, which date back a century or so to the era when it was known as Sinasos and home to a thriving Greek community.

Mustafapaşa is also central to a cluster of little-visited churches. Its main square holds the Aios Konstantine Eleni Kilisesi (daily: summer 8am–7pm, winter 8am–5pm; TL3), dedicated to Constantine and his mother St Helena, while a monastery complex across the village, reached via streets of houses cut into the tuff cliffs, includes the churches of Aya Nicolas and Aya Stefanos.

The church of Ayios Vasilios, overlooking the Üzengı Dere ravine, holds some well-preserved frescoes, although the faces are damaged, as well as four rock-cut pillars. Below it, pre-Iconoclastic and tenth-century paintings in the partly rock-cut Holy Cross church include an attractive Christ of the Second Coming.

 

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