"Goreme Museum - St. Barbara Church" Top 5 Page for this destination Nevsehir Ili Things to Do Tip by nicolaitan

Nevsehir Ili Things to Do: 87 reviews and 283 photos

  The Locust and the Crosses
by nicolaitan
  • The Locust and the Crosses - Nevsehir Ili
      The Locust and the Crosses
    by nicolaitan
  • Deesis - Iconoclastic Style - Nevsehir Ili
      Deesis - Iconoclastic Style
    by nicolaitan
  • St. Theodore and George - Nevsehir Ili
      St. Theodore and George
    by nicolaitan

The St. Barbara church is very different in decoration from the remainder. Instead of the beautifully painted figures, here red ochre stick figures of military and religious symbols predominate, painted directly on the rock surface. The form is typical of the earlier churches before columns with a cross shape with apses. Similarly, many of the frescoes are a throwback to the iconoclastic period. The most famous image (image 1) is a large insect-like figure perhaps a locust representing evil caught between the forces of good - two large crosses. Other images include Jesus in the dome, St. Barbara, and mounted pictures of Sts. Theodore and George (image 3). The three figures with triangles perhaps trees or lances are thought to represent the deesis (image 2). Note on image 2 the red ochre lines drawn of the barrel vault to simulate building blocks. The church dates from the mid 11th Century.

ST. BARBARA - an Egyptian devotee, first imprisoned by her father to keep her from Christianity and later tortured and martyred.

ICONOCLASTIC THOUGHT - Anatolia was the foremost eastern Mediterranean center for early Christianity. After endorsement as the state religion in the 4th C some of the greatest early theologians lived here including St. Basil. But by the 7th C, the number ( and power ) of the monks had grown. The Iconoclastic period represented a backlash against them, with a focal point of attack the decorative cult of religious images. all sacred images except the cross were destroyed and forbidden. This period would last 100 years before religious imagery was again permitted. The results are the amazing life-like artwork we see in these churches today as a new period of religious growth ensued.

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  • Updated Dec 21, 2008
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