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About Maghalaant Church Complex
Maghalaant Church complex is located in Shida Kartli region, near Kaspi municipality, near the village of Tsinarekhi. From the XIV century, this place was owned by powerful Aznaurebi( Georgian Dukes), called Maghaladze. The name of the complex comes from this surname. The complex of Maghalaant Church includes monuments of different periods. The oldest of them is the XII century hall church (Maghalaant Church, it is also called the Virgin of Bethlehem).
The Maghalaant Church complex consists of several buildings: the Maghalaant Church, the Solomon Maghaladze Bell Tower, the bell tower-tomb, the Upper Tower (Papua Maghaladze Tower), the pharmacy, the fence, and the ruins of the tower and other buildings.
Maghalaant Church is a XII century building, built of sandstone. The temple is rectangular in plan and ends in the interior with a semicircular apse to the east. The church stands on a two-stepped base and it is covered with a cylindrical arch. The entrance is from the south. The church is richly decorated with stunning ornaments. In addition to sandstone, turquoise stone is used for decorative purposes. The building is decorated by carved cornice. The windows are also rich with ornaments. There are two periods of painting in Maghalaant church, the first is a contemporary of the temple, and the second period dates back to the XVII century. Some fragments of the first period are preserved in the altar, the walls of the hall, and the north walls of Eukterion( A house of prayer). It is characterized by bright colors, sophistication and flexibility. The fragments of second period can be found on the west door, on the iconostasis, on the western section of the north wall, on top of the entrance to the Eukterion and the hall, and on the entrance of the hall. The painting of this period is characterized by dark colors. One of the frescoes depicting Nikoloz Maghaladze's mother, Elene, has an inscription mentioning the painter Apostol. Maghalaant church is surrounded by the wall. There is a pool with water pipes inside the fence near the entrance. Solomon Maghaladze's bell tower stands to the south of the church. Its ground floor is the entrance to the fence. The three-story bell tower is built of cobblestones and bricks and dates back to 1716. In the western wall there is a large green cut stone with six circular holes. The ground floor is open to the south and north, there is one room on the first floor, there was a fireplace here. Only the circular floor is kept from the second floor. It was possible to climb to the first floor from the ground floor by the ladder. Going to the second floor was possible with a stairs that was embedded in the wall of the second floor.
Papua Maghaladze's bell tower is located inside wall. It dates back to the XVI-XVII centuries, it used to be a bell tower, but Papua Maghaladze turned it into a tomb. The building has two floors. Originally both floors were open on all of the sides, later it was closed. Fragments of paintings dating to the second half of the XVII century are preserved in the interior. The bell tower does not have Panchaturi(shady sitting place for having rest)which distinguishes it from the bell towers usually built in Georgia.
The Upper Tower (the same Papua Maghaladze Tower) overlooks the Maghalaant Complex. The four-storey, stone and brick tower dates back to 1679. It is quite damaged, only the fourth floor is covered, the doors and windows have lost their shape. The building also had a fifth unoccupied floor. There are the holes for the gun shoots on each floor. There are fireplaces on the second and fourth floors. The south-west facade has an image of St. George depicting a dragon and there are other reliefs too. There is an entrance to the north-east, at the ground level.
To the west of Papua Maghaladze Tower, 300 meters away from it, there is a pharmacy built of crushed stone, which is also quite damaged. In order to maintain the coolness, all the walls of the building, except the east, are covered with ground. The locals call this place Sajinibo(place for horces) and Samtredo(place for pigeons).
How to get there?
Maghalaant Church complex is located in Shida Kartli region, Kaspi municipality, 2.5 km from the village of Tsinarekhi. A dirt road leads to the Maghalaant complex, you can cover this road by a car.
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