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  • Tags: C9th

6 Items

Katskhi

Katskhi pillar is the most well-known 'stylite' site in Georgia. In fact rather than being a column, as in Syria, in this case the 'pillar' is a pinnacle of rock that houses a chapel and some monastic cells on its summit. Although originally believed to date back to the sixth century, archaeological exploration suggests that it was inhabited no earlier than the ninth century and it has been pointed out that this manner of monasticism is closer to the monasteries of Meteora in Greece than it is to the Stylites of Syria. However, Katskhi remains fixed in Georgian opinion as the home of an ancient Stylite and there has thus far been little discussion as to the exact relationship between these variant interpretations of the practice of Stylitism.

Type: Architecture
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Garni

The Roman era temple at Garni, Kotayk Province, is believed to date from the first century CE and is the most notable Classical monument in the countries of the former Soviet Union. However, the temple today is the result of a reconstruction that took place in 1969-1975 as the original structure was destroyed in an earthquake in 1679. The site is included here not only because its significance for Classical architecture in the Caucasus in general, but also because the remains of a seventh-century centrally-planned church abut the temple on its western side. There is also a Roman-era bath house complex north west of both the church and the temple. It seems Garni remained significant throughout its history as there is ninth and tenth century Arabic graffiti still visible on the monument and a number of European travellers recorded their impressions of Garni even after its destruction. Today the temple is one of the chief tourist attractions in Armenia as well as being the main cult centre for Armenian Neopaganism also called Hetanism. On the day of the site visit a ritual was being enacted in the cella of the temple and some images of this event are included in this entry.

Type: Architecture
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Tsvirmi village, Ipari community, Svaneti

The Church of the Holy Archangels in Tsvirmi village in Ipari community in Svaneti is C9th. It obviously had an additional aisle to the south side originally that may well have terminated in an apse, but this has now been destroyed leaving a square U-shaped anthrax around the west end of the church that is clearly used for village feasts. It is equipped with benches, tables and other equipment necessary for festal meals. To the south of the church is a ruined structure that shows evidence of fallen arches amongst the masonry and which the local people claim to have plundered for the arches in narthex of the church. The villagers believe the ruins to be those of an even earlier church.

Type: Architecture
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Nesguni village, Lenjeri community, Svaneti

The C9th Church of the Saviour in Nesguni village in the Lenjeri community in Svaneti.

Type: Architecture
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Ubisa

Ubisa is a complex that developed from the C9th and includes a small church and a "pillar house" to the east of the church. Believed by Georgians to have evolved from the practice of Stylitism that began in C5th Syria, in actual fact this Georgian practice is quite different as a solitary monk would live in a tall house beside a church rather than perpetually stand atop a narrow column.

Type: Architecture
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Zarzma

The church at Zarzma was built between the C10th and C16th at a site that is associated with St. Basil, an C8th holy man. There is believed to have been a church on this site since the C8th and a miraculous C9th icon is also linked with the site. Fragments of this icon are still extant in the Art Museum in Tbilisi and in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Type: Architecture
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