St. Barbara Church and Yilanli Church in Goreme Open Air Museum,
St. Barbara Church
It is a small church with two columns ends a small dome. The walls are full of ‘and only painted decorations and Christ is painted in the central apse. On the northern Nall St. George and St. Theodore are represented slaying the dragon. Besides this s the scene of Flight to Egypt. These frescoes are painted directly on the wall. Architectural details are not ignored and the purpose of the linear decoration is to give the feeling of a masonry built church. Similar to the Barbara Church there are other Xlth century churches with linear and geometric designs enriched with thick lines. They keep their mystery since nothing is written to give any explanation. Doubtlessly the birds, the strange figure between the two crosses and the spear ends are trying to represent some symbolic and magic forces that we can not appreciate at the moment. Check our Cappadocia tours.
The church consists of two parts; first a long nave then another section with a flat ceiling. Opposite to the entrance Christ is seen standing, with a young boy beside him. The first two figures on the upper right wall are St. Basil and St. Thomas. Then comes St. Onuphrius with a leaf covering her genital organ. According to the tale St. Onuphrius was a frivolous woman once. One day she prays God to protect her from Men. God accepts her will and uglifies her with beard and mustache and she retires into a secluded life. The first figure on the upper left wall is St. Cosimo’s. Further on St. Theodor and St. George are represented as slaying the snake. Following on the left side, figures of Emperor Constantine and Empress Helena are seen with a cross between them. This Orthodox cross represents the good relationships between them and Cappadocians. The paintings of the Yilanli Church belong to the 11th century. The church gets its name from the painting of a snake.