Wednesday, September 7, 2011

As we were trying to find our hotel, I saw the dome of what look like a church, not a mosque, in the distance on Cunda Adası.

Since the sun was setting, we wouldn’t find out what that small dome was until the following morning.
The exterior of the Taksiyarhis Greek Orthodox Church 
As you wander through the island’s maze of uneven, cobblestone streets, the dome disappears from your sight. Then, all of the sudden, you are standing in front of it - about 200 meters off the main road. The abandoned Taksiyarhis Greek Orthodox Church, built in 1873, stands as testimony to the island’s former Greek inhabitants. Apparently, some of the island’s other remaining Greek churches have been converted into mosques.

The island’s Greek population was expelled during the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey and was replaced by Muslims from Crete (Cretan Turks). It’s difficult to tell how many Greeks actually were forced to move from this area, but in total upwards of 1.5 million Greek people returned to Greece from Turkey.
I stood in front of the preserved entrance to the church.
The church’s cracked columns and crumbling stucco appear to have survived several earthquakes over the years. The church’s interior is now closed to the public, but it looks like some efforts are being made to stabilize the church.
The interior of the Taksiyarhis Greek Orthodox Church 
If you stroll up to the top of the hill from the Taksiyarhis church, you will find the ruins of another abandoned and dilapidated church.

I liked this photo because of the Turkish flag in the background.
There were no signs nearby, so I’m unsure of any information about this former church. However, someone apparently is using the church’s interior to set up camp.
Strange place to set up a tent.
Just a few more meters up the hill and you are rewarded with a view of the town below and the surrounding seawaters.

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The Turkish Life said...
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The Turkish Life said...

Seems like it might be Agia Triyada:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

how wonderful! what an experience!

Tina Maxima said...

I was there before 5 years..Church looked the same as on your picture now..This is a POPULAR region Ayvalik/Sarimsakli for summer vacation for turists from my country...Regards from Serbia

Ramakant Pradhan said...

test comment!!

Joy said...

We really enjoyed Cunda and the Ayvalik area and would love to visit there again!

Tinamaxima - I was wondering who was reading in Serbia. Thanks for stopping by. =)

I've had issues with people not being able to comment on the blog so I had to change this area a bit. Hopefully, it will work now as I appreciate hearing from everyone out there!

Julia said...

Great photos, Joy, Looks like yet another place we need to add to our list... :)