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Another spiritual currently known as Zeda (upper) Vardzia that is earlier compared to Vardzia Monastery is located north-westward of the latter, in the middle of a small gorge, upstream the Kura River, its main construction â€“ Mother of God church has survived till nowadays. This monument made of hewn stone blocks has got two naves and a porch with arched openings attached from the south that gives to the whole of the construction some resemblance of a three-nave temple. Besides, the structure is covered with a safe double-pitched roof. This type of roofing is determined by hiding shelters arranged over the arches of lateral wings. Two columns separate high and proportionate southern nave â€“ the main one from the secondary, very narrow and dark northern nave, that almost literally serves as a background for a lovely arcade with decorated capitels ets. The frame of the southern entrance, with unbelievably clean and fine fretwork image of cross set on its top is the most impressive of all other details of decoration. According to the construction inscription curved on the stone slab XI c almighty feudal Liparit Eristavt-Eristavi was the church building donor.
Wall painting of the church might be of the same period, although due to the very small portion of the survived frescoes that are in a poor condition, their more accurate dating seems difficult. In the course of time the building itself suffered some damages â€“ southern porch had turned in ruins, but in 70-ies of the last century the church was reconstructed to its original condition.
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Ikalto Academy (Georgian: áƒ˜áƒ§áƒáƒšáƒ—áƒáƒ¡ áƒáƒ™áƒáƒ“áƒ”áƒ›áƒ˜áƒ) in XI-XIII centuries was a high school and the academy in Ikalto, Georgia. Ikalto monastery was known as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centers of Georgia, which is asserted by the ruins of some civil building preserved at the site of the monastery.
The monastic complex of Ikalto is situated 7-8-kilometers west of Telavi on the outskirts the village of Ikalto. The complex was founded by one of the Assyrian monks â€“ Zenon of Ikalto in the late VI century. Only three churches have been preserved from the complex. The transfiguration churchâ€“Gvtaeba (Holy Spirit) built in the VIII-IX centuries stands on the site of an earlier church (in which the founder of the monastery, Saint Zenon had been reburied) and had the form of the Greek cross in plan. St. Maryâ€™s single-nave church Kvelatsminda (Absolutely Holy) built at the close of the XII century and at the turn of the XIII century and Sameba (Holy Trinity). In spite of considerable reconstruction, one can still see parts of an older VI century domed church in the little Trinity church. These churches were restored so many times that their original appearance has changed drastically. All three churches, like most of the Kakhetian churches, are white, and against the background of green hills, attracts oneâ€™s attention from far away. The remains of the academy and the refectory survive among other ruins of the monastery complex.
According to verbal sources, during the Georgian Renaissance (IX-XIII centuries) an outstanding historical figure and tutor of David the Builder, scholar and philosopher Arsen of Ikalto initiated the project on establishing a high school and the academy in Ikalto. He was a son of Kakhetian nobleman Ibad Vachnadze. Ikalto monastery was known as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centers of Georgia. That is proved by the ruins of some presumable civil building found in the garth of the monastery. The oblong building of the academy is built of cobble stone. The ground floor consisted of two rooms, while the single hall of the first floor was meant for scholarly discussions. Scholarly and literary work was in full swing at the academy.
Many important works were written and translated from Greek, important catalogues were made up. During his scholarly activity at academy, Arsen of Ikalto, the founder and the first rector of the academy, translated such an important work as â€œThe Great Nomocanonâ€, another important work translated by him was â€œThe Source of knowledgeâ€ written by John Damascene. Arsen of Ikalto wrote â€œThe Epitaph of David the Builderâ€, which was passed on from generation to generation. The academy of Ikalto had functioned for a long time, playing an important role in the history of Georgian enlightenment.
According to a legend the famous XII century Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli studied here.
In Georgian academies, the syllabus consisted of Trivium (grammar, rhetoric, dialectics or logic) and Aquarium (music, arithmetic, geometry and astronomy) cycles. Theology, philosophy and chanting were also taught here. Besides the theoretical courses, the students were skilled in pharmacology, pottery making, metal work, viticulture and wine making.
Archaeological excavations revealed numerous workshops, wine-cellars, a smithy, store rooms and other household rooms grouped around the academy building. The Monastery was roofed with glazed tiles.
In 1616, the Iranian invaders led by Shah Abbas-II set it on fire and the academy ceased to exist.
After the annexation of Georgia by Russia, in 1921, the monastery was closed.
In 1965, a museum was opened in the main church.
Precious books, icons, the church bell and many important items were lost.
After the restoration of freedom, in 1991, the monastery became active once again.
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Sapara Monastery (Georgian: áƒ¡áƒáƒ¤áƒáƒ áƒ˜áƒ¡ áƒ›áƒáƒœáƒáƒ¡áƒ¢áƒ”áƒ áƒ˜) is a Georgian Orthodox monastery in the Akhaltsikhe District of Samtskhe-Javakheti region, Georgia.
It has existed from at least the 9th century, and has numbered among its monks many important figures in Georgian ecclesiastical history. At the end of the 13th century Sapara became a possession of the Jakeli family, whose leader, Sargis Jakeli, was adept at staying on good terms with the Mongols, which enabled Samtskhe to enjoy a peace unusual for the time. When he grew old, Sargis took monastic orders and changed his name to Saba. His son Beka built the largest of the 12 churches here, St Saba's Church, named after the saint whose name his father had adopted, one of the most architecturally important churches of its time. The 14th-century frescoes inside are of high quality.
From the end of the 16th century until the beginning of the 17th century the Sapara Monastery became empty due to the expansion of Turkish policy into Samtskhe and during this process the monastery's icons and other treasures were taken to more protected areas of Georgia.
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Rabati Castle (Georgian: რაბათის ციხე), is a medieval castle complex in Akhaltsikhe, Georgia. Built in the 13th century, initially was called the Lomisa castle until it was conquered by Ottomans.
According to The Georgian Chronicles the city was established in the 9th century by Guaram Mampal, son of the King of Tao. From the 13th to the end of 14th centuries it was the capital city of Samtskhe-Saatabago, ruled by the Georgian princely (mtavari) family and a ruling dynasty of the Principality of Samtskhe, the House of Jaqeli.
In 1393 the city was attacked by the armies of Tamerlane. Despite the Turko-Mongol invasions fortress withstood and continued to thrive. After the Treaty of Constantinople in 1590, the whole territory of Samtskhe-Saatabago went under the rule of Ottoman Empire. Turks Mostly used to build defensive edifices. In 1752 first mosque was built in Rabati. In the first half of the 8th century Prince Vakhushti of Kartli writes By the end of the 18th century Metropolitan John writes that "despite the fact that a large part of the population has been Islamized, there's still functioning Orthodox church." After the Treaty of Georgievsk between the Kingdom of Kartli and Russian Empire was signed the question of the fate of Akhaltsikhe arose. The first attempt to take the fortress in 1810 fell. Russians took the city after 18 years in 1828. After the Treaty of Adrianople in 1829, the Ottomans yielded the part of Akhaltiske Region.
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The Cathedral of the Dormition, or the Kutaisi Cathedral, more commonly known as Bagrati Cathedral (Georgian: ბაგრატი; ბაგრატის ტაძარი, or Bagratis tadzari), is an 11th-century cathedral in the city of Kutaisi, the Imereti region of Georgia. A masterpiece of the medieval Georgian architecture, the cathedral suffered heavy damage throughout centuries and was reconstructed to its present state through a gradual process starting in the 1950s, with major conservation works concluding in 2012. A distinct landmark in the scenery of central Kutaisi, the cathedral rests on the Ukimerioni Hill.
Bagrati Cathedral was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III, due to which it was called "Bagrati", i.e., Bagrat’s cathedral. An inscription on the north wall reveals that the floor was laid in "chronicon 223", i.e., 1003. In 1692, it was devastated in an explosion by Ottoman troops who had invaded the Kingdom of Imereti. The incident caused the cupola and ceiling to collapse.
Conservation and restoration works, as well as archaeological studies at the Cathedral began in the 1950s under the leadership of a Georgian architect Vakhtang Tsintsadze. The restoration works headed by Tsintsadze were divided into six stages and continued for several decades through 1994. That same year in 1994 Bagrati Cathedral, together with the Gelati Monastery, was included in UNESCO's World Heritage Site list as a single entity. In 2001, ownership of the cathedral was transferred from the Georgian state to the Georgian Orthodox Church. It is presently of limited use for religious services, but attracts many pilgrims and tourists. It is also frequently used as a symbol of the city of Kutaisi, being one of its main tourist attractions.
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The fortress of Tmogvi was an important fortress-town of Georgia. It stands on a high rocky mountain on the left bank of the Mtkvari river, in Javakheti. In historical sources, The fortress is first mentioned in the 10th century. The upper and the lower parts of the fortress were linked with the secret tunnels. There is the Efremi church on the massive rock, in the West side of the valley. The 13th century wall paintings are still preserved in the ruins of the other church. There are remains of an abandoned villages, ruins of the palaces and the piers of the bridges preserved on the both banks of the Mtkvari river. One bridge connected two palaces together and the other was for transport use. The fortress was destroyed several times by the earthquake. The famous political figure and philosopher – Sargis Tmogveli – lived and worked in Tmogvi.
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Alaverdi St. George Cathedral (first half of the 11th century) is located 18 km from the town of Telavi in the Alazani-River valley. Earliest structures of Alaverdi Monastery date back to 6th century. The present day Cathedral is part of an 11th century Georgian Orthodox monastery. The Monastery was founded by the monk Joseph [Abba] Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and settled in Alaverdi, then a small village and the former pagan religious centre dedicated to Moon. At the beginning of 11th century, Kakhetian King Kvirike the Great built a cathedral in the place of a small church of St. George.
Alaverdi is the highest cathedral in Georgia (up to 50 meters). It dominates the surrounding landscape in a fertile river valley against the backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains. It is a cross with three apses inscribed in a rectangle. In the western part of the building, there are galleries on the second tier of the side naves. The interior of the cathedral is extremely imposing. Outside the Cathedral is devoid of embellishments, and the facades have monumental blind arcades and niches for decoration, which give the entire structure an air of monumentality and solemnity. The walls are of fieldstone faced with hewn slabs of shirimi water tuff, now badly weathered. An area enclosed by a fortified wall contains dwelling houses, the refectory of the monastery, wine cellars, baths, and other structures.
The characteristic features of the Kakhetian architecture with its upward aspiring tendency were reflected in Alaverdi. The decor is totally neglected. An impressive space of the interior of this church has no analogy in Georgia.
Alaverdi Cathedral was in use since construction began and has been a subject of several modifications: restoration (part of the walls and the entire dome with the drum) in 15th and in 18th centuries; in the 19th century, the church lost its chapels on the north and south sides. However, its overall authenticity and integrity is preserved.
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