Home Page Issues Publishing Principles Order Form Links Contact Türkçe
Detailed Search  
Click here to visit web site of anakkale Ceramics
If you would like to get announcement mails about Akmed activities, please subcribe to our mailling list.
First name:
Last name:


The Church Of Hasanaliler In Rough Cilicia: An Example Of Piered- Basilical Plan Typed Churches

Hasanaliler is a small village located on the ancient road starting from Narlikuyu and running to the north via Cennet-Cehennem to Ovacik / Imamli in the region of Rough Cilicia. This small settlement had been inhabited from Roman until early Byzantine period.

The church of Hasanaliler is situated in the center of the site. The north-eastern side of the church constructed over a cave and the building slopes down to the north. The lower sections of the southern wall of the church and the eastern wall of the narthex were carved from the bedrock.

Apart from the southern wall and the apse wall which were constructed of large stone blocks, all other walls of the church are double-shelled with stone and lime-mortar filling.

The church has a nathex on the western side with an entrance on the northern wall and consists of three aisles divided by two rows of piers, each row containing six. Today, the southern row of piers still stands but the northern row completely disappeared.

The monolithic piers carry rather simple capitals, only roughly profiled. As the north-eastern section of the church was constructed over a cave, the northern aisle is on a higher level compared with the nave and the southern aisle.

The nave terminates by an apse on the eastern end of the church. In the plan drawn by O. Feld, there is another smaller apse at the eastern end of the northern aisle which has now completely been disappeared.

The Church of Hasanaliler is a representative of the basilical plan type. In spite of the fact that three-aisled and colonnaded basilical plan type is common in the churches of Cilicia and Isauria, there are a certain number of piered-basilicas, such as the ones in Hasanaliler, İmamli and Kizilaliler.

The reused stone block in the lintel of a door in a village house in Hasanaliler bears a building inscription belonging to the church with names Paulos and Eutychianos but without any reference for dating. This inscribed block must have placed above the entrance on the northern wall of the narthex.

İmamli and Kizilaliler churches which are the parallels of the Church of Hasanaliler were dated to the A.D. 5th – 6th century. The roughly carved pier capitals can not be considered as an evidence for the dating. Therefore, the basic planning of the church forms the only present standpoint.Thus, the church can be dated to the second half of the A:D. 5th or early 6th century.

The two storied side-rooms were located behind the apse of the church on the eastern end. Below the northern side-room, there are vaulted smaller rooms. The entrance to these rooms was provided by an arched gate with a niche on one side. The direct connection of the church with the cave below reveals the importance of the cave for Christian worship.

*Yrd. Doç. Dr. Ayşe Aydın, Mersin Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Sana Tarihi Bölümü-Mersin.

Article List