Mother of God, Buckle Church in Cappadocia

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Cappadocia, Churches, The Christ, The Human Face, The Virgin \\ Mother of God, Buckle Church in Cappadocia


This icon, used also on the cover of Elpenor’s New Testament, comes from a Byzantine church in Cappadocia, known as church of the buckle (tokali kilise), the largest church in the area. The main nave contains ninth century frescoes in “provincial” style, the more recent additions are three apses of 11th century frescoes, in “metropolitan” style.

Besides the Icon featured on this page, the church contains frescoes of the twelve apostles, the saints and scenes from the life of Jesus (963-969 and 11th century respectively).

Buckle Church includes four chambers: the Old Church, the larger New Church, the Parecclesion, and the Lower Church.

The Old Church dates to the 10th century. It was originally a single-naved barrel-vaulted church. But its apse was destroyed when the New Church was added at the end of the 10th or early 11th century. Now the Old Church provides entrance to the New Church.

The Old Church is decorated with pale hues of red and green painted in strips to represent scenes from the New Testament and depictions of some saints.

Panels of rich indigo painted with pigments from the lapis lazuli stone dominate the New Church: scenes from the New Testament, miracles of Christ, the first deacons, episodes from the life of St. Basil the Great, depictions of Leades (one of the Forty Martyrs) and St. Menas.

The New Church was carved out of the eastern wall of the Old Church and decorated with Eastern-style arches and a series of arcades.

The Parecclesion, located at the left side of the New Church, is a barrel-vaulted chapel with a single apse. The Lower Church has three aisles and a burial space or krypte.

Cf. Books with Frescoes from the Buckle Church, Elpenor’s New Testament, Icon of the Mother of God desktop gadget.

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25 Mar 2008 // Special Homages —   George Seferis as a Photographer   Constantine Manos   Fred Boissonas

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