CHURCH WITH A BUCKLE (TOKALI K?L?SE)
It is the biggest church of this region built in the 11 th century. It is called the Church with a Buckle because it has a buckle on the ceiling. Even though this buckle disappeared for unknown reason its location is still evident.
There is a big apsis across the entrance and two small apsis on the sides. On the sides and in front of the apsis, there are four pillars. More pictures were made in this church because it is wide and large.
The pictures mostly symbolize the miracles accomplished by Jesus Christ.
The pictures in the church are the following: A picture symbolizing Gabriel announcing to Mary that she will bear the Christ, theexodusof Joseph, Mary and Jesus to Egypt, Yahya (John the Baptist) baptizing Jesus, Lazarus resurrection, the-Last Supper, Jesus' crucifixion, Jesus being taken down from the Cross, the treachery of Judas, one of the Apostles and many other paintings.
The Tokal? Kilise or Church with a Buckle is located on the road to Avc?lar. This is the largest and most interes¬tingly decorated of those in the Göreme group. The lovely wall paintings, dating to the 15th century are beautifully preserved. The narthex is arranged with scenes from the Bible in the order of their occurence in Biblical history, from the Annunciation to the Ascension. The life of Saint Basil is also depicted on the walls of the Tokal? Kilise. The entrance leads to a barrel-vaulted hall, adjoined by a long nave. Four columns support the roof and arches. Behind this is an elevated corridor. The whole interior, including the arches and columns is decorated with frescoes in shades of red and green.
Other churches and chapels found in this immediate area are those of Theotokos and Saint Eustachius. The latter is especially interesting for its bright, well-preserved paintings. A guide is a must to get a full apprecation of the outlying churches, which include El Nazar or the Eye of Fate, the K?lrçlar Kilise, the Church of Swords, and the Hidden Church or Sakl? Kilise.
This church, the largest of the group, is with its well preserved frescoes, most important from the ^pictorial aspect.
On all its side walls as well as on the vault of the arthex, scenes from the New Testament, from the -nunciation to the Virgin Mary to the Ascension of hrist, are painted in their chronological order. In other parts of the church are over a hundred pictures t>f saints and a great number of scenes taken from the life of St. Basil, the greatest of the Cappadocian saints. In the recess in the left apse, there is a large painting of Christ seated on a throne between two angels.
Some of these pictures belong to the archaic period of Cappadocian art, but others are of a later period. Tokal? Kilise, or the Church with the Buckle, the ost important of the Göreme churches, is built in a rge rock pillar only a few yards from the Ürgüp hway.