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The Hidden Church
(Sakli Kilise)
Crucifixion. Sakli Kilise, Chapel 2A, Göreme, Cappadocia


The Hidden Church can only be reached by climbing a ridge of soft crumbling rock above a steep drop, into a cave carved into the cliffside. It has therefore had little damage done to the murals. One of these is a crucifixion scene with two soldiers and a centurion.


Two military saints -  Both are wearing lamellar klibania with armoured sleeves, and both are armed with spear and sword.


A further armoured figure can also be seen in the church; unfortunately the lower part of the painting has been destroyed. He is obviously a military saint - there is an inscription showing his name, but I have not been able to read it.
by Steven Lowe



Referenced as figure 95 in Arms and armour of the crusading era, 1050-1350 by Nicolle, David. 1988 edition
95A-95B     “Crucifixion”, wall-painting in subterranean church, Cappadocia, c. 1070 A.D.
(in situ
Sakli Kilise, Göreme, Nevșehir province, Turkey)

The paintings of the Crucifixion in the Sakli Kilise are particularly interesting because they show a common soldier (95A [left]) in a normal eleventh-century mail hauberk. Only the straps to his scabbard distinguish him from a French or Italian warrior of the same date. The centurion Longinus (95B) wears a version of the lamellar cuirass which is often regarded as an artistic convention. Might it not, however, be the ceremonial costume of an imperial officer?




This photo of Sakli Kilise is courtesy of TripAdvisor


Back to The Depiction of Byzantine Military Equipment in Kappadokian Murals, by Steven Lowe



See also Warrior Saints, Serpent Church, Göreme, Cappadocia, Byzantine, 11th-12th centuries
Other Byzantine Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers
11th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers