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Fresco Christ Pantocrator at Cappadocia

Fresco in Cave Church of Cappadocia, Göreme

Fresco art, Christ Pantocrator inside hidden cave church of Cappadocia, Göreme Open Air Museum, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Turkey. The iconic image of Christ Pantocrator was one of the first images of Christ developed in the Early Christian Church and remains a central icon of the Eastern Orthodox Church.



In Eastern Christianity, the most widely used Christogram is a four-letter abbreviation, ICXC — a traditional abbreviation of the Greek words for "Jesus Christ". On icons, this Christogram may be split: "IC" on the left of the image and "XC" on the right, most often with a bar above the letters, titlos, indicating that it is a sacred name. In the traditional icon of Christ Pantokrator, Christ's right hand is shown in a pose that represents the letters IC, X, and C.

Çarıklı Kilise: The Church with Sandals

The name comes from the two footprints at the bottom of the Ascension fresco at the church's entrance. The church's frescoes, which date to the 11th century, contain the four Evangelists, the Nativity and the Crucifixion, the Baptism, the Adoration of the Magi, and other New Testament themes.

Churches of Göreme

After the eruption of Mount Erciyes about 2000 years ago, ash and lava formed soft rocks in the Cappadocia Region, covering a region of about 20,000 km2. The softer rock was eroded by wind and water, leaving the hard cap rock on top of pillars, forming the present-day fairy chimneys. People of Göreme, at the heart of the Cappadocia Region, realized that these soft rocks could be easily carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. These Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art from the post-iconoclastic period. These frescoes are a unique artistic achievement from this period.

In the 4th century small anchorite communities began to form in the region, acting on instruction of Saint Basil of Caesarea. They carved cells in the soft rock. During the iconoclastic period (725-842) the decoration of the many sanctuaries in the region was held to a minimum, usually symbols such as the depiction of the cross. After this period, new churches were dug into the rocks and they were richly decorated with colourful frescoes.

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