Üçayak Byzantine Church

Üçayak Byzantine Church
Üçayak Kilisesi
Üçayak Gesamt.jpg
The ruins of the Üçayak Byzantine Church. The decorative niches on its exterior walls are visible.
Üçayak Byzantine Church is located in Turkey
Üçayak Byzantine Church
Location of Üçayak Byzantine Church in Turkey.
Location Taburoğlu village (nearest settlement), Kırşehir Province, Turkey
Region Cappadocia
Coordinates
Type Church
History
Material All-brick
Founded Early Byzantine period
Site notes
Condition Ruined

The ruins of the Üçayak Byzantine Church ( Turkish: Üçayak Kilisesi; "Three-legged Church") are found in Kırşehir Province in Central Anatolia, Turkey. The church is unique in several respects. It is built on a remote location, without any evidence of any artefacts in the surrounding area, apparently in a completely isolated place, with no signs of human habitation. [1] [2]

Its architectural design has been described as executed on an "exceptionally high artistic level". Other unusual features include a double or twin-church design, [1] [2] an all-brick construction with the exception of its foundations, and sloping walls. It has been dated to around the late 10th to 11th centuries. [1] The style of the church is double- nave basilica. [3]

It is located in the southern part of Kırşehir Province, near the village of Taburoğlu, which is approximately six kilometres from the Yerköy- Yozgat highway. [3] [4]

History

The ruins of the Üçayak Byzantine Church as they appeared in 1900. The dome arches were destroyed in an earthquake in 1938.

The Byzantine name of the location of the church is unknown. Proposed names include Justinianopolis, Pteria, and Mokissos. Near the church, there is a water spring, but the absence of any human artefacts in the vicinity indicates that the church was built on a completely isolated and uninhabited area. [1]

The remnants of the decorations of the facades, its sloping walls, and its architectural style led to its chronology being placed to late 10th or 11th centuries AD. [1] The first report on the church was in 1842 by W. F. Ainsworth. His travel notes on the church were used by John Winter Crowfoot who visited the ruins in 1900, and were eventually published by Josef Strzygowski in 1903. The 1938 Kırşehir earthquake caused the dome arches of the church to collapse. [1]