About Katskhi Monastery
Nativity of the Savior monastery - is located in Imereti, in Katskuri river valley, in the village of Katskhi, Chiatura municipality. Built in 1032 by the king of Bagrat IV Kurapalat and his wife, Elene, who was the niece of the Greek Emperor Romanos Argir.
The katskhi Cathedral at different times was the ancestral church of different feudal houses and the place of burial. It is built by Baghvashi (in the main entrance of the building is the constellation of the Baghshushi coat of arms: the lion and the "old angel"). In Katskhi is buried one of the most powerful and distinctive feudalist in the history of Georgia the Liparit IV Bagvash. He lived at the time of Bagrat IV (died in 1064). After Davit the builder defeated Baghvashi's family and banishment from Georgia, the Katskhi Cathedral was left without patronage. The abandoned and damaged temple restored in the XVI century, by its new owner Abulasar Amirejibi. In the XVII-XVIII centuries the katskhi belonged to Abashidze's family.
Katskhi Monastery was a great cultural center. Here in the last centuries worked productively and creatively, hundreds of books were copied. The church had a rich library, but it was stolen.
In the Cathedral was kept "translation" of the Gospel of Matthew, donated by Liparit Baghvashi; In 1059 Ivane, liparit’s son Bagvash has donated the Savior's icon of Kakhaber chief lord and the golden icon of St. George, the Great Cross, it's inscription refers to the Racha chief lord Rati; In Katskhi there was a unique monument - the Gospel written on the leather. Beautifully crafted, translated by Ekvtime Ethanel in 1059;
In Katskhi monastery by Giorgi-Malakia Abashidze's order was rewritten "Katskhi Gulani" which is a collection of all theological books. A small part of this list is kept in the Georgian State Museum.
The temple was built at the beginning of XI century. The central part was built in 1010-1014 years, and the three side fence was built by the late 30years. The building is surrounded by a pentagonal fence (rebuilt in 1937).The cathedral has an ancient bell-tower that functions as a gateway. Katskhi Cathedral is one of the most distinctive and original monuments of Georgian architecture. The architectural monument of similar forms does not exist anywhere else. The building consists of stages located with three faceted sections: the fence, the church corps and the collum of the dome. The church corps and the collum of the dome are six apses. The interior plan is circular, with twelve windows shining in the temple.
The building was completely decorated with luxurious ornamentation, but in 1854 the church was renovated, resulting in changing the old decoration. Nowadays the first look is left only on the part of the fence. One of the outstanding sights of Katskhi is the cross-raising scene by four angels, which is located on the right side of the fence.
The pattern of this art has not been preserved as it has been covered with the white color due to unclear reasons. In the yard of the cathedral, there is a lion's monumental bas-relief, which supposedly was on the wall of the building, but was removed after the "restoration" of 1854. At every entrance of the church are located bas-reliefs (mainly lion images). All the bas-reliefs of the temple have Asomtavruli inscriptions. Most of the captions are written with contractions (eliminated vowel).
Fragments of the temple iconostasis are preserved in the State Museum of Art.