THE CAVUSIN CHURCH

CAVUSIN CHURCH CAPPADOCIA
THE CAVUSIN CHURCH
  Half-way up on the vertical rock-face, well visible from the road is the facade of another church, Çavuşin Kilise. During the collapse of the plateau its atrium detached from the rest and cascaded into the valley, exposing some of the murals to the elements, like the now much damaged frescos of archangels Gabriel and Michael, painted in red. The present entrance is accessible by an airon staircase.

The Çavuşin Church preserves some of the best works of early Christian icon painting and depicts religious scenes from the New Testament: Annunciation, Visitation, Journey to Betlehem, The Birth of Christ, The Dream of Joseph, Flight to Egypt, The Death of Zaccharias, The Shepherds, The pursuit of Elisabeth, Curing of the Blind, Resurrection of Lazarus, Entry into Jerusalem, The Last Supper, The Betrayal, Crucifixion, Entombment, Christ descends into the inferno, Transfiguration and the Angels visit Joshue. Other murals portray the saints.

The dominant colors are reddish-brown and green, a combination common during the archaic period.

One mural commemorates an historical event, the visit of Emperor Nicephorus Focas in 965, in the company of Empress Theophano and Cesar Bardas, the emperor’s brother.

Portrayed in a lateral abside is the Armenian general Melias, with inscription in Armenian which caused some confusion among 19th century historians, some of whom attributed this church to the Armenians. In fact, Melias was portrayed only because his troops were fighting in alliance with the Byzantines. There have never been Armenian communities in the region.

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