Friday, January 10, 2014

Cappadocia - churches

Although people have been living in the area for millennia, early Christians started settling here in the 4th century, making churches and monasteries with gorgeous frescoes, as well as digging out places to live and tunnels in which to hide in times of persecution. As might be expected after nearly 2000 years, the frescoes are a bit the worse for wear, but still surprisingly beautiful. Notice the crosses in the niches.

You're not allowed to photograph inside the churches any longer, but here are some photos from my 1990 trip, when photography was still permitted inside. In the first photo, columns are carved out, even though they serve no structural purpose, to emulate churches that were built in the usual way:
 Christ Pantocrator on the dome of Karanlik Kilise; the frescoes in this church date from the 11th century:

 St. George (on horseback) slaying the dragon:

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