Lurji (Blue) Monastery

About Lurji (Blue) Monastery

Best time to visit: All Season

Lurji (Blue) Monastery is located in Tbilisi, on Leo Kiacheli Street 25. The monument got its name because of the blue roof, decorated with glazed tiles. The temple was built in the XII century on the site of an older church, parts of which were used during the construction of a new monastery. The monument has undergone many changes, as a result of which it has not reached us in its original form. It was damaged by the Persian invasion in the 16th century, but later in the 17th century, its destroyed part was rebuilt from bricks. Initially, it was a domed building, which was similar to other temples in Kartli of the XII-XIII centuries, but in the XVII century it was restored without a dome and the interior decoration gave the appearance of a basilica. In 1873, the church was rebuilt again, a Russian dome was erected, uncharacteristic for Georgian architecture, as well as new walls and pediments, which disfigured the monument. According to legend, in the VII century, a monastery named after St. John the Apostle functioned on this place. The current church, the inscription on the tympanum (inner field of the triangular pediment or gable) of the southern entrance, was built by the former archbishop of Kartli - Basili. In the 18th century, it belonged to the Gabashvili family. In the 19th-20th centuries, the temple periodically housed a warehouse, a sawmill, and a museum of the history of medicine. In 1990, the Russian dome of the building was replaced with a hipped roof, and the divine service was restored.


Lurji (Blue) Monastery is a cruciform building with an apse facing east. The temple has two entrances - from the south and north sides. The western entrance is arched and the southern one is rectangular. On the facades of the 12th-century building, the remains of cut stone are clearly visible. The wide, richly facing projections of the eastern windows have also survived. The dome rests on beamed walls and two western pillars. During the restoration of the 17th century, pointed arches and brick vaults were erected, as well as a significant part of the walls. In the small ledge of the apse, three windows are cut through, which are decorated with ornaments on the outside. The two side windows are smaller than the central window and are located higher. The neck of the dome and the serrated cornices of the facades were made in 1873. The tympanum, decorated with plant ornament on the southern door, has a relief cross of Calvary and an extensive inscription Asomtavruli, which mentions: the builder of the church is the former archbishop of Kartli named Basili, his brother is Eristavi Abulasani (a famous figure of the King Tamar era) and his nephew David.

Tags: #History #Church #Culture #Monastery #Historical Monument

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