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Tokali Church

Destinations in Cappadocia

This church is the largest in the region and is situated on a slope a few hundred metres from the group of churches within the Göreme open-air museum. The entrance, today, opens onto a long, barrel-vaulted atrium which leads to a transverse nave, somewhat larger in scale. The nave is separated from an apse by a series of four columns supporting five arches. The apse is high and narrow. The narthex and atrium are known as the “old church” and the large flanking nave as the “new church”. Both parts of the church date from various periods, as do the frescos. Those on the walls of the old church are dated to the beginning of the 10th century and are executed in a primitive provincial style. The frescos of the new church, which date to the second half of the 10th century, however, possess a quite well-developed realism. 

The use of blue pigment as in these frescos is iconographically unique for the region. The walls are decorated with frescos of scenes from the New Testament, in frieze form, particularly scenes from the life of Christ. There are also representations of saints and scenes from the iconography of the saints. Among the frescos are those illustrating an account of the life of Basilius, archbishop of Caesareia.

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