Churches and Monasteries
Northward from Mtskheta, on a hill these stands a domed church, jewel of Georgian Culture Cathedral - Samtavro. Domed church, belfry, castle-which used to be a part of the fortified wall, and minor church represent the summary parts of the multifarious monastery complex. The oldest of them being minor of Church built in IV 30 years, upon the adoption of Christian Religion by Georgia.
Zedazeni Monastery is a Georgian Orthodox monastery, located on the Zedazeni mountain the hills of Saguramo, northeast to Mtskheta and to the east side of the Aragvi River. The monastery was founded by Saint John, one of the Holy Assyrian Fathers of Georgia whose mission was to strengthen Christianity in the region. Saint John founded the monastery in the 6th century on Zedazeni mountain, where prior to Christianity used to be a cult of Zaden, the idol of fruitfulness.In the 10th century, a church in honour of St. John the Baptist was built on the south side of St. Ioane's cave. The Holy Father's grave is located near the altar of this church.
Nikortsminda is situated in Ambrolauri region, at a distance of 242 km from Tbilisi. The domed church was constructed in 1014, and the belfry dates back to the XIX century. The frescoes and lapidary inscriptions go back to the XVI - XVII centuries. It is one of the most significant monuments of Georgia, particular for its sculptural decorations on the façade.
Dzveli Shuamta ("between the mountains") is situated in Telavi region, at a distance of 154 k. from Tbilisi. The Shuamta complex consists of two sites: The Old and the New Shuamta .The architectural ensemble of Dzveli (Old) Shuamta comprises three early churches: Basilica Church V c.; Domed Church VII c with mural paintings XIIc similar to Mtskheta Jvari and Minor Domed Church VII. Shuamta is the most significant monument of Early Christian Period. The site was abandoned in the 14th century.
Historic town of Nekresi, founded in II-I century BC, is situated in Kvareli Region, at a distance of 150 km from Tbilisi. In IV century, King Trdat built a church here, one of the oldest temples in Georgia, where one of the 13 Syrian Fathers Abibos (Nekreseli) settled in VI century. At that time, Nekresi Episcopacy started there, which existed until XIX century. The Nekresi Monastery Complex, encompassing several monuments, is the town's most significant worth. Small basilica, which dates back to second half of IV century, is one of the oldest churches that have reached our times. Big three-church basilica belongs to VII century. A cupola-shaped church of VIII-IX century is distinguished for specifics of its plan. It is surrounded with exits from three sides.
Ninotsminda Church is situated in Sagarejo region, at a distance of 45 km from Tbilisi. Ninotsminda architectural ensemble comprises 5 buildings, the most important of them being domed church, dating back to the VI century, adorned with lapidary inscriptions. Ninotsminda belfry dating back to the XVI century represents a 4 storey edifice, 20 meters in height.
Motsameta monastery is monument of Georgian architecture. It is situated in Imereti region close to Gelati Monastery. The main temple is constructed to memory of brothers Davide and Konstantin Mkheidze, martyred by Arabic aggressor - Murvan II Ibn Mukhameda in VII century, buried in the original church, after which it was called Motsameta (meaning martyrs). Bagrat IV reconstructed church in XI century. Present building was restored once again in XIX century.
At a distance of 175 k. from Tbilisi, in Western Georgia, in picturesque Dzirula river gorge, about Ubisi village is ruin of ancient monastery of St. George. The Monastery Complex comprises 5 buildings and includes a single-nave church of IX century, three-storied tower and some subsidiary monastic buildings, now almost completely destroyed by time. Ubisi church is well known for its frescos of XIV century by performed artist Damiane. According to long ago established local tradition, the vault and the walls are almost entirely covered with paintings.
Sapara Monastery ("hidden") is situated 10km south of Akhaltsikhe town. Sapara Monastery Complex, dating back to X-XVI centuries, comprises 11 buildings. Among them, St. Saba Cathedral is the biggest and the most important domed church, dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries, when the Jakelis announced Sapara as their residence and family mortuary and is notable for its architecture and mural paintings of the 14th century. The inscription on the west facade shows, that the monastery was designed and built by an architect Paresadze. The detailed ornaments and decorations, as well as the frescos, make this church a highlight of art.
The Zarzma Monastery of Transfiguration is a medieval Orthodox Christian monastery located at the village of Zarzma in Samtskhe-Javakheti region, southwest Georgia. It is the complex of a series of buildings dominated by a domed church and a belfry, one of the largest in Georgia. The earliest church on the site was probably built in the 8th century, by the monk Serapion. The extant edifice dates from the early years of the 14th century, however. What has survived from the earlier monastery is the late 10th-century Georgian inscription inserted in the chapel's entrance arch. The façades of the church are richly decorated and the interior is frescoed.

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