ALAKİLİSE VALLEY

Alakilise church and surrounding village of Karkabo are at about 850m altitude and 3.5km northeast of Belören. Four routes lead to Alakilise: from Karabel, Belören, Beymelek and from Bonda Tepesi. It is on the Lycian Way and on the dirt road from Belören via Zeytin.
The three-naved church is situated in the middle of the valley; the east aisle dividing wall stands today; a chapel with half-domes is well-preserved but only lower walls of other parts are visible. The carving is similar to that at Gunağı and Asarcık; windblown acanthus capitals with Maltese crosses, carved door frames, columns with relief crosses all show similarities; an ionic capital may have no parallel in the other churches. The small reliquary chapel has similarities in shape and construction to that at West Asarcık, but is not so extravagantly decorated.

A Greek inscription engraved on a block in the doorway of the narthex says ‘The most sacred shrine of Archangel Gabriel was re-consecrated on 2nd May, 5th indiction, 6320 years after the creation of the world.’ This dates the rebuilding of the church to 2 May 812.
The Vita describes Nicholas’ visit to the shrine of Archangel Gabriel at Karkabo, so we can definitely say ‘Nicholas was here’.

On a slope southeast of the basilica, are two storeyed Byzantine houses built from mortared rubble. On the path descending the valley to Myra are more settlement buildings including a chapel and houses. There are two more small churches: one 1km southeast, another 500m north of Alakilise.

1km north of Alakilise, a chapel or hermitage is cut in a steep rock called Papaz Kayası and reached by 40 rock-cut steps. A huge relief Latin cross decorates the interior; a small peacock is carved on the rock above the chapel.