Friday, June 10, 2016

1500 Year Old Church in Cappadocia

web-041_aa418176web-2-071_29-5356Last February, archaeologists unearthed a unique rock-carved underground church in Nevsehir, in the central Turkish region of Cappadocia. The church was decorated with never before seen frescoes depicting Jesus’ Ascension, the Final Judgement, Jesus feeding the multitudes, and portraits of saints and prophets.

The discovery, made during excavations and cleaning operations in an underground city recently uncovered as part of an urban project in Nevsehir, is located within a castle that might date back to the fifth century. Authorities expect it will make Cappadocia an even more important pilgrimage center for Orthodox Christians.

Semih Istanbulluoglu, the archaeologist who heads the works for both the underground city and the church, explained that the walls of the church collapsed because of snow and rain, but that they will be fixed as part of the restoration project. Frescoed sections will have to be collected one by one and pieced together.

When uncovered, the church was filled with earth. Ali Aydin, another member of the archaeological team in charge of the Nevsehir discoveries, said that because of the humidity underground the church has to be dried slowly in order to prevent even more damage to the frescoes. “We have stopped work in order to protect the wall paintings and the church. When the weather gets warmer in the spring, we will wait for humidity to evaporate and then we will start removing the earth. Only a few of the paintings have been revealed. Others will emerge when the earth is removed. There are important paintings in the front part of the church showing the crucifixion of Jesus and his Ascension to Heaven. There are also frescoes showing the apostles, the saints, Moses and Elijah.”


Unknown said...

Interesting that you describe the scenes in the frescoes but you omit one in particular which is the very first fresco on your blog: the dormition of the Theotokos. Why are you Lutherans oblivious to the fact--yes, the FACt--that the veneration of the Mother of God is not some Medieval cult but goes back way farther to the earliest beginnings of Christianity?

Paul said...

Unknown, you may review a few of the urls below before forming your opinion. The author of the post also writes about the dormition elsewhere on this blog. You may be misinformed.

Mabel said...

Wow, this is amazing! Thank you for mentioning this church, I plan to follow this story of the excavation and look for more photos of the frescoes.