St. Kvirike and Ivlita Church of Draneti

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About St. Kvirike and Ivlita Church of Draneti

Best time to visit: All Season

St. Kvirike and Ivlita church of Draneti is located in Kvemo Kartli region, Tetritskaro municipality, one km southwest of settlement Draneti, on the right bank of the Torne gorge.

The first scientific publication and identification-localization of settlement Draneti was made by Kvemo Kartli Historical-Archaeological Expedition. In the description of 1701-1711 this village is mentioned as "Draneti", and in 1721 - "Drianeti". In the geography of Vakhushti, this village is also called "Draneti". The name of the church was lost and in the scientific literature it was named as the church of Draneti, or Alekseevka-Draneti. Archaeological excavations have revealed that the temple is named after Saints Kvirike and Ivlita. Archaeological and restoration-design works were carried out on the church (supervisor: Nino Nozadze).

St. Kvirike and Ivlita church of Draneti was surrounded by a stone wall. It is currently demolished to the ground, but its configuration is clearly legible. There are tombstones in the churchyard, including a depiction of a flat and saddled horse. The temple is erected on the pedestal and it is hall type building, with an annex along the entire length of the south facade. It is built of a pieces of crashed rock stones. The facades are covered with yellow (so-called "Algeti") tuff. On the other side of the entrance, a four-line Asomtavruli(the oldest Georgian alphabet) inscription is on the buttress. According to Tsitsishvili, it has the following content:

The researcher does not attach much importance to this inscription and he thinks that it belongs to the XVII-XVIII centuries. However, according to Palaeograph signs, Giorgi Gagoshidze, Doctor of Arts, considers it to be no later than X-XI centuries. The candle attracts one’s attention. It is made of a thin, solid plate of silver. Its shape is ornamented, and it has Asomtavruli inscription on its shoulder.

An old stone pillar is also inserted in the northern corner of the apse. Compared to the previous one, the vine ornament cast can be read here only on the southern side. The corners of the column are rounded and the ornament, like the previous column, is bordered by a narrow line. Both stone columns must belong to the VI-VII century at the latest. It is nteresting to make the parallel between previous pillar and VI century stone pillar embedded in the wall of the church. On the one side there is a vine ornament, and on the other there is a Golgotha cross similar to the stone cross of the Draneti church. Both of these ornaments are relatively graphic and rough in nature, while the Draneti ornaments are more plastic and with better quality. Therefore, it is possible to assume that they belong to the VII century.

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

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