Saturday, April 23, 2016

St George Church, Cappadocia

St George Church is located in Ihlara Valley in Cappadocia. The disordered hexagonally planned Church has flat ceiling. The ceiling in front of the apse is carved in concave shape. The collapsed apse is used as an entrance. The Church was decorated by Amiraznes (commander who was given land to train special military forces) Basileios’ wife Tamara (between 1283 and 1295), during Sultan Mesud II and Emperor Andronikos II’s reign.

The inscription says: ‘This church which was built on behalf of glorious and great Martyr Georgios, was decorated magnificently despite the difficulties, with the great help and desire by the wife of Amiraznes Basileios Gia (oupes) and Tamara, illustrated across. Oh, suffering Cappadocian Martyr Georgios. At the time of our Sir Andronikos’ ruling under the greatest of the great Sultan Mesud’s reign.’

The femals donor depicted with a model Church on her hand is probably a princess from Georgian origin. The land that she donates was mentioned on another inscription, which is on the ceiling of the Church: ‘Me, humble Tamara, I am donating a vineyard land on the slope and the orchard that I bought from Platenes to the temple that I got it built.’

Interestingly enough, and in many respects a unique spectacle, is the fact that next to St George one finds Sultan Mesud II depicted. This was done since he had assisted greatly in the formation of this cave Church, one of many within Ihlara Valley. 

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