As “the hidden face of Christ” from Arkhyz became a mystery to science

Как "потаенный лик Христа" из Архыза стал загадкой для науки

CC BY-SA 4.0 / Igor fomenko k / Keramion. A close-upIn a mountainous area Arkhyz in Karachay-Cherkessia on one of the rocks imprinted face of Jesus Christ, which the locals call hidden. It was revealed in mysterious circumstances 20 years ago. Scientists argue about its origin, and believers say about the mystical power of this image. The mysteries of the Caucasian image of Christ, understood the correspondent of RIA Novosti.

The hermit

In the late ‘ 80s in a small village of Nizhny Arkhyz do not understand where did the old man. He was dressed inconspicuously, and walked with a stick and no one spoke. This is not a joke bothered astrophysicists who worked at the Observatory nearby. When the old man disappeared, tried to find him in the surrounding woods — to no avail.Scientists only saw him a few times. And, oddly enough, always have Nicest mountains towering over the valley of the river Great Zelenchuk.And one day, in the late 90’s, the old man suddenly came to the locals, Sergei and Anatoly Varchenko. He introduced himself as Ivan Ilyich and told that in the mountains of the Lower Arkhyz hidden miraculous face of Jesus Christ. The brothers believe the hermit and started to search.

Как "потаенный лик Христа" из Архыза стал загадкой для науки

© RIA Novosti / Denis Abramov.The Church of the Saviour in the village of Nizhny Arkhyz in Karachay-Cherkessia, However, they constantly interfere with the unknown power: they get lost, it will not reach the top of the cliff, where presumably there is a way. As the remembered Sergey Varchenko, past the mysterious countenance of Christ, they held as many as seven times. And finally…”meter by Meter I climbed up a steep slope. It was raining, lightning flashing, the mud clung to shoes. The climbing was incredibly hard. I was clinging to branches and tree roots, but still went. How did area — don’t know. I only remember that I felt look, straight, calm. Look that is not confused and will never forget” — says Sergey Varchenko.He turned around and saw on the cliff-side, a large portrait of a man, nearly the size of the is about one and a half meters in height. This way Sergei was familiar, because it can be seen on the icon of the “Vernicle”: long hair, smooth facial features and piercing gaze.Brothers Varchenko told the villagers about the detected face of Christ. But when the residents of Nizhny Arkhyz in one Sunny day came to the cliff, I saw nothing. Turns out the face clearly emerges only in the morning or evening.A year and a half after these events, a mysterious hermit Ivan Ilyich died. However, the house in which he lived, and is in the woods.

Как "потаенный лик Христа" из Архыза стал загадкой для науки

© RIA Novosti / Eugene biyatov. The face of Jesus Christ on a rock at the Church of the Saviour in the village of Nizhny Arkhyz in Karachay-Cherkessia

Place test

Of course, as soon as the face of Christ was revealed to him immediately pulled pilgrims. Archbishop of Pyatigorsk and Circassian Feofilakt (Kuryanov a) was one of the first who prayed before this image.”At the time I was a Seminary student and remember how we climbed on the dangerous slope. Clutching at the trees, not to fall, and held each other,” says Bishop.My first impressions of the image he clearly remembers 20 years later. First of all he was struck by the piercing gaze of the Savior.”When you pray in front of this face, it’s good sense that are faced with Eternity. It’s an amazing sight, kindness, which is particularly felt here in the mountains. I was born and raised here. The mountain is always the place of testing, not only for yourself, but for people nearby. A test of mutual aid and the readiness even to sacrifice themselves,” — says the Archbishop in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Как "потаенный лик Христа" из Архыза стал загадкой для науки

© RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov. Theophylact, Archbishop of Pyatigorsk and CircassianMysterious image of the Savior is in a very remote place, almost on the edge of a cliff. And only recently for the security of pilgrims and tourists did there stairs.”Rather, it is a cascade of stairs. But still the road to the face of Christ is very difficult. To the middle of the road even strong men shortness of breath. But, surprisingly, to go and old people and children — they somehow manage to find strength. Because at the end of the road, when you see the way the piercing eyes of the Savior, fatigue disappears,” — says the correspondent of RIA Novosti Orthodox journalist Alexander Egortsev who repeatedly visited here.

Как "потаенный лик Христа" из Архыза стал загадкой для науки

© RIA Novosti / Eugene biyatov. The face of Jesus Christ on a rock at the Church of the Saviour in the village of Nizhny Arkhyz in Karachay-Cherkessia

The hoax artist?

Perhaps the numerous pilgrims attracted to the mystery of the origin of the image. There is even a belief that he was revealed in a miraculous way. However, experts are convinced its artificial origin. But they argue fiercely about the time of creation. And some leads they have.In the summer of 1888 at the Arkhyz mountains traveled the famous artist and archaeologist Dmitri Strukov. On the shores of the Great Zelenchuk he randomly stumbled upon the gravestone, a rugged Greek letters. Tried to read the inscription, did not succeed. His colleague Vsevolod Miller, examining the plate, came to the conclusion that this old Ossetian language, for the written version of which used the Greek alphabet.Along the way, Strukov redraw frescoes of the ancient temples built at Arkhyz in the X century. And perhaps he has captured the face on one of the rocks, in imitation of ancient artists.

Как "потаенный лик Христа" из Архыза стал загадкой для науки

© RIA Novosti / Maria she said. North Zelenchukskiy temple (X century)“Maybe there was some kind of way, and Strukov, it was just drawing. Anyway, this image is created not so long ago,” — says in an interview with RIA Novosti employee of the Nizhne-Arkhyz Museum Valentina Trifonova.However, this version has one major but: the journey of the artist in the Caucasus is well documented about cave paintings is not mentioned anywhere. In addition, scientists have made the analysis of paint Arkhyz face and realized that she is much older times, when he lived Strukov.However, it was found gravestone attracted to Arkhyz researchers who discovered there is a variety of burial. A local historian Vasily Sysoev found that part of these caves has an artificial origin. They hollowed around the X century — but for what?

A landmark for caravans

In the X century the Patriarch of Constantinople Nicholas the Mystic sends to the North Caucasus missionaries. And it is in the valley of the Bolshoi Zelenchuk river appear temples. First, George, was a Cathedral, it was erected in the year 916. The other two were built after about 50-70 years. By their presence, scientists have suggested that here was the main city of the ancient Ossetian state Magas (or Maas). And the area apparently was settled by Greek monks. They could leave the image of Christ on the mountain Matest.”Judging by the style and technique of writing, the Creator of the image was well acquainted with the Byzantine iconography and may have been a native of Byzantium. Most likely, he lived in the cell on the side of the gorge. The wall of his home may have collapsed, and the face was revealed. Maybe it was a house Church,” admits Bishop Theophylact.

Как "потаенный лик Христа" из Архыза стал загадкой для науки

© RIA Novosti / Maria she said. Ancient tombs near the Middle Zelenchuk temple (X century)there were very many. The Archbishop noted that in the first visit to the rock with the face of Christ heard from a local that one of the nearby mountains are hidden like the face of the virgin. That is, in the vicinity of the ancient Magas could be a monastic Republic.Some experts doubt that the monks have lived here. First, near the Great silk road, is always busy. In addition, near the town of Magas likely to have been much larger than people imagine.”The city was large, occupy 63 hectares and the area superior to Ancient Athens. And he had stood on the Great silk road from Constantinople to China,” — said archaeologist Sergey Kuznetsov.It is therefore possible that the face of Christ, the painters left on the hill dominating the valley of Zelenchukskaya in the rock for invisible protection of numerous caravans. And the image could serve as a guide for travellers.It is also possible, according to some historians, iconographers created the icon as a talisman of Magas during the epidemic of plague in XII-XIII centuries. In favor of this version says that fact that the face of Christ just turned up there, where once was an ancient city.Anyway, despite the unidentified’s definitely still the origin of the face of Christ, the flow of pilgrims and tourists to every year only increases. Apparently, in an attempt to discern in the eyes of the Savior, the answer to the great mystery.Anton Skripunov

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