The Rocky Church of Saints Theodores

The Rocky Church of Saints Theodores is built in a cave with a rich painting decoration. The cave is outside Alexandroupolis, on the way to Avantas, after the Castle of Potamos. It has a built iconostasis and reminds of the cavernous churches of Cappadocia. The fresco of the Rocky Church of Saints Theodores is divided into two phases; the first one is of the 11th century and the second one of the 13th. The frescoes caver the side walls of the chapel, the iconostasis and the holy bema.

In the Rocky Church of Saints Theodores dominates the figure of Panagia, leading the researchers to the conclusion that the chapel was initially dedicated to the Theotokos (Virgin Mary). On the south side of the cave is illustrated the Assumption of the Theotokos, with elements of strict monastic tradition. At another point, we can see the “Mother of God”, icon that is known to us from the Church of Saint Vasiliios (Basil) in Bursa; Panagia enthroned is holding Jesus and is surrounded by the archangels. Finally, in the Rocky Church of Saints Theodores there is the scene of greeting among two female figures rushing towards each other and is also attributed to those that depict Panagia – here with Elizabeth.

From the rest of the frescoes in the Rocky Church of Saints Theodores stands out the “Deisis” (Prayer), in which dominates the figure of Christ with the inscription “I am the light of the world” and the “Archangel”, a full-length figure that wears luxurious clothing and holds in his hand a bullet – it is considered to be one of the chapel’s oldest frescoes.

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