MONUMENTS OF ANCIENT GEORGIA

Gelati
Gelati Monastery, situated 12 kn from the city of Kutaisi, used to be the largest centre of philosophy and education in medieval Georgia. It was built by king David the Builder, the founder of the powerful united feudal state of Georgia. In addition to the large temple there have been preserved several churches and ruins of the Academy, where in the XII century lived and worked outstanding Georgian philosopher and thinker Ioann Petritsi. In the Gelati Monastery king David created the Academy - Scientific-Educational Centre, where all famous Georgian figures were collected. In the next centuries began the process of enlargement of the Monastery Complex. The Gelati Monastery as a whole represents a genuine treasure house of medieval art.
Ubisi
Some 30 km. from Dzirula railway station in Western Georgia, up the picturesque gorge of river Dzirula near the village of Ubisi there are ruins of an ancient monastery with an old single-nave church and a tower still surviving and some subsidiary monastic buildings now almost completely destroyed by time. Next to them there are ruins of a belfry of a later period. The tower - or the "pillar" - opposite the east facade of the church, bears an inscription in Georgian on its south wall and dates the monastery and the tower itself as built in 1141. According to the long -established local tradition, the vault and the walls are covered with painting almost down to the floor.The historical and artistic analysis of the Ubisi paintings and the techniques of their executions points to the fact that this monument marks a definite stage in the development of the local artistic traditions as typified by Georgian paintings of the 13th and the early 14th centuries. The auther of the church's internal paintings was Damiane.

Qintsvisi
In contradistinction to Byzantium and owing to favourable social and cultural conditions, "city-states" with their democratic ideas emerged in Georgia several senturies earlier (11th-13th cent.) than in Western Europe; this fact, in its turn, favoured the emergence of humanistic ideals. In the 10th-12th cent. the centralized state power and the democratic strata of the population had common interests that were in direct opposition to the disruptive tendencies in the ideology of the great feudal lords. All this led to a certain new evaluation to the hierarchy of the estates and was instrumental in bringing to the fore the value of the personality, and man's liberation from the moral, ethical and aesthetical fetters of the Middle Ages. There is no doubt that these circumstances could not but have left a trace, thy could not but activate the humanistic foundations of art within ecclesiastical dogmaticism itself, they could not but influence the criteria of evaluation of works of art.

It is in the Qintsvisi murals that the clash of advanced ideas with mediaeval dogmatism - a clash so characteristic of the Middle Ages - finds full reflection in the opposition of ecclesiastical scholasticism to humanistic trends with their close attention to man.

Bolnisi Sioni Temple
Bolnisi Sioni Temple was built in 478-493. It is situated 70 km from Tbilisi. It is an outstanding example of the earliest stage of ecclesiastical Georgian architecture. The inscription preserved inside the temple represents the oldest specimen of ancient Georgian writing.
Narikala
The ancient fortress of Narikala in Tbilisi, overlooking the old city, was erected in the IV century. In the course of centuries ir was destroyed and rebuilt many times.
St. David Church
St. David Church, to wering over the old part of Tbilisi, was built in the XIX century. Adjacent to the church is the Pantheon of outstanding writers and statesmen.
The Metekhi Church
The Metekhi Church in Tbilisi is believed to have been erected in the V century. It was destroyed during the Mongol invasion, restored in 1278-1289 and in this state has come down to us.
Ananuri
Ananuri, a typical feudal stronghold dating from the XVII century. Within the walls encircling the stronghold are civil, military and religious constructions. The Ananuri Stronghold is a witness to many bloody tragedies which the epoch of feudal strifes abounded in.
The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia, is the largest ecclesiastical construction extant in the country. According to legend, the cathedral rose on the site of Georgia's first Christian church of the fourty century. Outstanding Georgian architect Arsukisdze built the cathedral in 1010-1029. The cathedral was badly damaged at the end of the XIV century during the invasion of Thamerlane. The cupola was restored in the XV century. The facades are decorated with ornamental carving and reliefs. Worthy of mention are the fragments remaining of the original frescoes. The cathedral is the burial place of Georgian kings. It typifies the high standards of the second heyday of medieval Georgian architecture which falls on the X-XIII centuries.
The Samtavro Church
The Samtavro Church in Mtskheta is a typical architectural creation of the first part of the XI century. Rich ornaments on the south and north facades are particularly noteworthy.
  Gremi
The Gremi ensemble was erected in 1565. The ensemble includes a temple and a fortress. Inside the temple is decorated with mural paintings completed in 1577.

 [Previous Ten] [Next Ten]

Copyright Seit 1996 Tedsnet
Alle Rechte vorbehalten