Carved Cross, Chapel of Saint Catherine, Chapel 21
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Carved Cross, Chapel of Saint Catherine, Chapel 21

Carved Cross

Creation Date
Style Genre
Work Type
Format Medium

Carved cross painted with red ochre.

Original Location

Chapel of Saint Catherine, Chapel 21, Göreme, Cappadocia

Historical Context

The chapel is situated among the monasteries of Karanlı and of Çarıklı Kilise on the eastern side of the circle of monasteries in Göreme Park. The church includes an image of Saint Catherine with a female donor near the sanctuary, and for this reason it is traditionally associated with Saint Catherine. The donor is named Anna.

The entrance of the church is comprised of a domed cruciform narthex in which previous users have carved burials into the floor. The narthex includes nine floor graves and two arcosolia (burial niches). It is followed by a larger naos of the same shape with a dome and a single apse. The dome rises above a drum of blind niches and rudimentary pilasters. The apse has an elevated templon screen. The central entry of the apse is arched. The screen also includes small lateral arched openings and an open lunette above. An eroded altar was connected to the wall in the apse. The apse includes two carved niches, one to the right of the entry (to the southeast), the other in the apsidal wall (to the north edge).

Patrons and Others


Current Repository

Open-air Museum of Göreme (Outside of Göreme Center on the road to Üçhisar)

Secondary Sources

Cave monasteries of Byzantine Cappadocia, Byzantine wall painting in Asia Minor, Les églises byzantines de Cappadoce : le programme iconographique de l’abside et de ses abords, Etudes cappadociennes, Sacred art of Cappadocia : Byzantine murals from the 6th to 13th centuries, Les saints et leur sanctuaire à byzance : textes, images et monuments, La Cappadoce médiévale : images et spiritualité, Caves of God : Cappadocia and its churches, Caves of God: the monastic environment of Byzantine Cappadocia, Spätbyzantinische Wandmalerei in den Höhlenkirchen Kappadokiens in der Türkei, The Byzantine wall paintings of Kiliçlar Kilise : aspects of monumental decoration in Cappadocia, Byzantinische Apsisnebenräume : Untersuchung zur Funktion der Apsisnebenräume in den Höhlenkirchen Kappadokiens und in den mittelbyzantinischen Kirchen Konstantinopels, Templonanlagen in den Höhlenkirchen Kappadokiens, The liturgical planning of Byzantine churches in Cappadocia, Kapadokya kaya kiliselerinde üç gün, Upper-Story Chapels Near the Sanctuary in Churches of the Christian East,
The Problem of Provincialism: Byzantine Monasteries in Cappadocia and Monks in South Italy, Survey of the Byzantine Settlement at Çanh Kilise in Cappadocia: Results of the 1995 and 1996 Seasons, Middle and Later Byzantine Wall Painting Methods. A Comparative Study, Apostolic Monasticism at Tokalı Kilise in Cappadocia, Haut Moyen-Age en Cappadoce, Une nouvelle province de l’art byzantin : les églises rupestres de Cappadoce, Les Femmes et le monachisme byzantin : actes du symposium d’Athènes, 28-29 mars 1988 = Women and byzantine monasticism : proceedings of the Athens symposium, 28-29 March 1988, Painted Sources for Female Piety in Medieval Byzantium

Photo Credit
Dina Boero
Dina Boero
Image of Carved Cross, Chapel of Saint Catherine, Chapel 21.