Tsromi Church

About Tsromi Church

Best time to visit: All Season

Tsromi Church is located in Shida Kartli, Khashuri Municipality, in the village of Tsromi. It is a temple of the Early Medieval Period and it dates back to 626-634. The modern church is built on the site of an earlier temple from the 4th century. According to written sources, in 457, Razhden the Protomartyr was tortured to death in the early church of Tsromi, who converted to Christianity in the time of King Vakhtang Gorgasali. Today's monument was built by the order of Stephanos II. The church was damaged and rebuilt several times over the centuries (XI-XII, XVI-XVII centuries and XX century). On September 24, 1731, during the invasion of the Dagestanis, the fence was destroyed. During the earthquake on May 8, 1940, the dome of the temple, the walls of the dome square, most parts of the narthex and cylindrical arches from the arms of the west-south walls were collapsed and the west wall was inclined. Restoration work carried out in the second half of the twentieth century restored the temple to its original appearance. The Tsromi Temple is one of the most important and notable monuments of the early Middle Ages.


Architecture

Tsromi temple is a cross-domed building, which stands on two or three steps of the basement. The dome rests on four separate standing abutments in the center. The square under the dome connects to the neck of the dome with the vaults. A longitudinal axis is carved in the interior, which ends to the east with an apse. At the corners of the altar, there is a deacon's house and a table where the Liturgy of Preparation is performed. To the west, there is the Chamber, which was originally intended for people from the high class of society and later for choristers and musicians. Under the chamber, there is an elongated narthex, the middle part of which is covered with a cylindrical arch, and the sides with a cross arch. To the southwest, a two-story storage room is located, to the east of which the open ground floor was for women, and the second floor was a dwelling for nobles. The main light source is the four large windows cut into the dome and one large window cut into the branches. The temple has several more round windows. There are three entrances: west, north and south. The church is built of well-smoothed sandstone blocks (partly dark gray and yellowish porphyrite is used), whose ribbed seams are horizontal and linear. The facades are simple, unobtrusive, giving the temple a strict and monumental look. The eastern facade consists of three parts: a raised middle place, completed by a pediment. On both sides of it, there are low storerooms with one-sided roofs, each with one window. There, where the apse marks off the side storage rooms, are two deep triangular niches carved. Niches have a constructive purpose (it frees the wall from excess masses) and they are interconnected by three arches. The image of a relief cross can be found in several places on the adjoining facades. The western entrance is decorated with paired columns. It is covered with a tympanum, on which a high, layered cross is depicted. Above the entrance, there is a large window decorated with a horizontal title and ornaments. The altar's conch was decorated with mosaic, most of which have now been destroyed. The surviving fragments of the mosaic are kept in the Art Museum of Georgia.

At present, only the contours of the preparatory drawing are left on the altar. The composition "The Glory of Christ" was presented. In the center of the conch, there is a large figure of Christ. He holds a roll in his left hand and sents blessing with his right hand. On the roll, there is a seven lines inscription of Asomtavruli (one of three forms of the Georgian alphabet). On both sides of Christ, you can see images of angels. The second composition probably depicts the Mother of God. Fragments of the figures of the apostles have also been preserved here. One of them has the inscription "Peter". There are three medallions in the arch of the altar window. The central medallion depicts a cross, and the rest - the busts of Martyrs. An ornamental strip with a motif of acanthus leaves follows the medallions below. The rest of the walls of the temple and vault were unpainted.

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

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