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Tokali (Buckle) Church

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Tokali (Buckle) church
Tokali (Buckle) church

This is one of the oldest known rock cut church in the Cappadocia and consists of four sections, the old church with one nave, the new church, the lower church under the old church and the parecclesion to the north of the new church. The single naved, barrel vaulted old church built in the 10th century, today acts as the entrance to the new church, its apse collapsed when the new church was added to the east wing. Frescoesare to be found on the vault and at the top of the walls. The life of Jesus is told on seperate panels on the vault, running from left to right. Scenes, Portraits of the saints are in the center of the vault. On the top panel of right wing are annunciation, visitation, proof of the virgin, journey to Bethlehem, and nativity. On the top panel of the left wing are, adoration of the magi, massagre of the innocents, flight into Egypt, presentation of Jesus in the template and killing Zacharias. On the middle panel of the right wing are pursuit of Elizabeth, calling of St. John the Baptist, preaching of John, John meeting Jesus, Baptism and marriage at cana. On the middle panel of the left wing are miracle of the wine, miracle of the loaves and fishes, calling of the apostles, healing of the biling man and raising of Lazarus. On the lower panel of the right wing are entry into Jarusalem, the last supper, Betrayal and Jesus before pilate. On the left lower panel of the left wing are way of the cross, crucifixion, descent from the cross, entombment, woman at the tomb, Anastasis and Ascension. Beneath this panel are portraits of the saints, and transfiguration is painted over the entrance. The new church is transversally rectanguler with a simple barrel vault. On the east wall there are four columns joined by arches. Behind which there is a raised corridor in front of vaulted nave is the story of Jesus in chronolgical order in mainly bright red and blue colours. The dark blue colour serves to distinguish the Tokali church from the other churches. On the transversal nave are scenes from the life of St. Basil, portraits of some saints and pictures of the miracles of Jesus, the church is dated back to last decade of the 10th century and the first decade of the 11th century.

Scenes: On the north wing of the vault are annunciation, visitation, proof of the virgin, nativity and adoration of the Magi. On the north wall of the vault are Joseph’s deram and journey to Bethlehem and below these in the niches are portraits of eight saints, at the very bottom are calling of St. John the baptist, John meeting Jesus, baptism, presentation of Jesus in the template, calling of Matthew, calling of the Apostles and Marriage at Cana; on the west wing flight into Egypt, temptation of christ and christ in the template when twelve years old, on the south wing of the vault are the first diacons, pentecost and blessing and mission of the apostles, on the south wall of the vault are some unidentified angels, below them in the niches are portraits of saints. At the very bottom are healing of the Nobleman’s son, raising the daughter of jairus, healing the paralytic, raising of Lazarus, entry into Jerusalem and last supper.. On the west wing is washing of the disciples feet, on the man apse conch are crufifixion, descent from the cross, women at the tombs, Anastasis, on the front wall of the apse are the first diacons and Jesus and the samatian woman, inside the niche is mother Mary and baby Jesus, and on the apse to the north is prophetic vision and angels.

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