Nevşehir El Nazar Church

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It is located in the Zemi valley, east of Göreme Town in Nevşehir Province, west of Göreme Open Air Museum. It is a three-apse church with a central dome and free mortar plan. In the painting decorations of the church, the architectural art of the church with a free cross plan was adhered to, and the decoration of the naos was separated from the usual archaic style by placing the ascension scene on the central dome. The majority of the depicted scenes are devoted to important holidays. The scenes about Jesus are on the south wall. Childhood and passion (the scenes where Jesus' ordeal), the resurrection, crucifixion, and nativity scene on the north wing are opposite each other on the south and north wings.

The scene of the presentation of Jesus to the temple is located above the apse to the south. Depending on the symbolic value of the scene, it has been placed in a very important and privileged place. The Transfiguration scene occupies the western wall opposite the apse, which has a very important place. The baptismal stage is also mounted on the west side. Saints are sometimes in medallions with only the tops of their breasts, bishops in pendants on arches on the inside of the dome, and prophets, and martyrs; can be seen on the remaining parts of the domes on the north wall. Constantine and Helen completed the decoration of the church at the bottom of the walls in the west wing. The paintings in the main apse have only been preserved towards the dome part. The Byzantine period Istanbul art was followed, and after the iconoclast period, the traditional rule of Jesus in the scene of the ascension of Jesus in the dome was adhered to. However, the room is also reserved for the Theotokos in particular. In the middle axis, most of the pictures have been erased, in the semicircle, it shows the hand of God, Mary, and the child Jesus in the form of a blessing. The Virgin Mary is seated on a throne adorned with pearls and semi-precious stones and resembling a Lyr. The Theotokos is holding little Jesus before her. This scene has been quite destroyed. The Theotokos is seen holding a roll on her left knee and blessing Jesus. In the photographs taken by Jerphanion, there is a small tree to the right and left of the throne. But this scene has not survived until today. Two archangels whose names have been erased appear in the profile (probably Gabriel and Michael). These two angels represent the greatness of the Theotokos. Both angels are seen dressed in royal robes. The scene next to Mary is completed with two saints on the sides. The Theotokos and its saints inside the apse are dated to the 10th century. We have no information about the identity of these two saints. But the one in the northern part is most likely a prophet. However, the beardless person on the right is Ephrem, according to Jerphanion, and Etienne, according to G.P. Shimenen.

The neckerchief falling to the sides reminds us of the narrow scarves worn by the Bishops in old paintings. The characteristics of the clergy distributing favors are rarely seen. But they hold a book and make a blessing gesture with their right hand. In the inner arch of the mihrab, saints are arranged in 11 medallions in a row, and there is a cross at the top. Two of them have a king's dress and a crown that we don't notice very well. It gives the impression that the bearded painting in the south and the beardless painting in the north must belong to Prophet David and Prophet Solomon. One of the figures on the south façade is well preserved, and an inscription of Isaac Ezechiel and Jonas can be seen on it. The scene in the south apse is quite fragmented. Jesus is seated on his throne in the form of worship between two angels. A part with a crusader halo and a few traces of angels can be noticed, leaning forward in antique clothes. The dating of church is dated to the second half of the 10th century, based on the iconographic style from the archaic series of paintings.

Summer (15/04/2021 - 01/12/2021)
08:00-17:00 Saturday 08:00-17:00 Sunday 08:00-17:00
Box Office Closed 17:00
Winter (01/01/0001 - 01/01/0001)
08:00-17:00 Saturday 08:00-17:00 Sunday 08:00-17:00
Box Office Closed 16:15

Nevşehir El Nazar Church Nevşehir İli, Merkez İlçesi, Göreme Beldesi
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