Niğde Andaval Archaeological Site

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The settlement, which is mentioned as Andabalis, Adualis, and Ambabalis in historical sources, was a military garrison on the road from the capital Istanbul to Cilicia and from there to the Holy Land in Late Antiquity. Legend has it, that Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, had some churches built in the area during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the first half of the 4th century. However, it is thought that the church known as "Constantine basilica" in some publications today is not one of these churches. Considering the architectural plan features, the church that has survived (Constantine and Helena Church) must have been built at or near the church built by Helena at a later period (probably in the 5th or 6th century).

Constantine and Helena Church is 8 km from Niğde (Nahida). It is located in the northeast of Aktaş Town, Yeni Mahalle neighborhood. The church's first structure is a Hellenistic basilica with a flat wooden roof, three naves, and a single apse, which was widely used in Byzantine architecture of the 5th or 6th centuries. After Anatolia was conquered by the Turks in the 11th century, the church remained open to the worship of non-Muslim subjects residing in the region. M. Restle, who carried out works on the building in the 1970s and published these works in 1979, saw the vault covering the middle nave and some of the wall paintings and stated that the wall paintings were in three separate layers. According to the researcher, the first period of the structure is a three-nave basilica; the side naves are single, and the middle nave is covered with a double-beamed roof. In the second building period, the columns separating the naves were transformed into a structure supported by reinforced arches to which piers were added, and all three naves were covered with vaults. It states that during the third building period, that is, at the beginning of the 20th century, the side naves were removed and the supports separating the naves were built between them. With the decision of the Republic of Türkiye Ministry of Culture, General Directorate of Monuments and Museums, dated 18.09.1996, conservation, salvage, and restoration work in the building were initiated under the scientific consultancy of Prof. Dr. M. Sacit Pekak, a faculty member of the Niğde Museum Directorate of the church and Hacettepe University Art History Department. Since 2010, by the decision of the Council of Ministers, Prof. Doctor  M. Sacit Pekak,  the work was continued under the chairmanship of Sacit Pekak until 2016. There are wall paintings (religious paintings made with fresco and secco techniques) on the west wall and window arches of the central nave, which have survived to the present day, and at the beginning of the wall and vault that separates the middle nave from the north nave. The murals in the church must have been painted between the 11th century at the earliest and the 13th century at the latest. There are different opinions about the paintings that have not survived on the destroyed walls of the church and the semi-dome of the apse.

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Summer
08:30-17:30 Saturday 08:30-17:30 Sunday 08:30-17:30
Box Office Closed 17:15
Winter
08:30-17:30 Saturday 08:30-17:30 Sunday 08:30-17:30
Box Office Closed 17:15

65 and over - Turkish citizens Free
Children ages 0-8 - Non-Turkish Citizens Free
Children ages 0-18 - Citizens of Turkey Free
Students (Studying art history, archaeology and museum departments in university) Free
All Adults (International and Turkish) 20.00TL
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Niğde Andaval Archaeological Site Yeni Mahalle Aktaş Kasabası Merkez/Niğde
nigdemuzesi@kultur.gov.tr
+90 (388) 237-5357
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