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About Anchiskhati Cathedral
Anchiskhati Cathedral is located at Ioane Shavteli Street in the old part of Tbilisi. It is a three-nave basilica dating back to the 6th century and is the oldest church building in Tbilisi. The current name of the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is connected with the icon of the Savior that came here from Anchi Monastery in South Georgia in 1664. The icon of the Savior of Anchi is an excellent example of Georgian stamping, it is carved by Beka Opizari and is currently kept in the Georgian National Museum. In the late Middle Ages, the Anchiskhati Church was an important center of religious and cultural life. Georgian princes were also brought up here. Descendants of the priest, Peter Moskhi, who came here from Samtskhe in the 17th century, were the founders of the Alexi-Meskhishvili dynasty. In 1755, with the support of the King Erekle II, a secular school and a theological seminary were established near the church. In the seminary, grammar, poetics, rhetoric, logic, physics, philosophy, arithmetic and Georgian language were taught along with the divine law and ecclesiastical history. The temple has been damaged and rebuilt many times. Anchiskhati is one of the most important cultural monuments in Tbilisi.
Anchiskhati Church is a three-nave basilica. The plan of the temple is an elongated rectangle that is divided into three parts by two pairs of towers inside. The church is built of tuff cut stone. The part filled during the restoration (the upper parts of the walls and all the inner poles) is made of brick. The middle nave ends in a semicircular apse to the east and is taller and twice as wide as the side naves. There are three entrances - one from the south, one from the west and one from the north. All three windows on the east facade and all the windows on the west facade are finished with a sloping outline. The decoration of the temple is distorted during the restoration of the late period. However, the motif of the decoration is clearly visible. The fragmentary, strongly damaged relief of the "Ascension of the Cross" embedded in the western facade is noteworthy. Images of the Bolnuri cross and the angel are preserved on it. The Asomtavruli (one of the Georgian written languages) inscription found on it adds importance to the relief, which reads: "Lord, bless King Dachi." Remains of 17th century frescoes are preserved in the apse of the temple.
To the west of the temple is the bell tower of the late feudal era, which is also the gate. The bell tower is built of brick. It is a cubic volume, in the center of which is an arched entrance to a square enclosure. On both sides of the entrance there are decorative niches on two floors. At the exit there is a wide staircase leading to the church yard, on the sides of which there are small guard posts in the walls of the bell tower. Above the exit arch is one living room. There are small storerooms on the second floor.
- 17km From Tbilisi International Airport
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