- Collection: The Early Christian Architecture of Georgia
The Mother of God church in Akaurta is dated C5th-C6th and is a single-naved, apsed building. It has been recently and unsympathetically renovated by the National Agency for the Cultural Preservation of Georgia.
The ruined church outside the village of Akhalsopeli is believed locally to be dedicated to Davit Gareja. It is a ruined single-naved church of uncertain date.
The C6th church in Akhmeta is a small, simple single-naved building.
Akvaneba is a small C5th-C6th ruined chapel with an external apse to the south. It stands on a hill to the north of the Bolnisi-Dmanisi road.
Alaverdi monastery is one of the sites associated with the Thirteen (As)Syrian Fathers and remains one of the most important religious sites in Georgia. It is located in Kakheti in the east of the country, a region dominated by wine production and the monastery is known for its wine. The church is C11th and the walled monastery complex dates from the C17th.
Anchiskhati is a C6th basilica in Tbilisi that was named after the miraculous icon housed within it. This icon is now in the Art Museum in Tbilisi and is a C6th representation of the Mandylion. The basilica has been altered since the C6th, notably by raising the height of the building, and has a bell tower dated 1675.
Antioki (Antioch) is the name given to a C5th basilica in Mtskheta by the confluence of the two rivers. It is believed that the district may have housed people from Syria or Asia Minor (more specifically maybe from Antioch itself) in antiquity and that this was the reason for the toponym that has now been attached to the church. Archaeological evidence suggests that the basilica was originally dedicated to St. Stephen and today small church comprises the northern aisle of the original building. The central nave and southern aisle of the basilica are no longer extant although their outline is clearly visible in the gardens surrounding the extant church.
Ateni Sioni is regarded as the most beautiful church of the "Jvari' type. It is C7th and located in a place of outstanding natural beauty on a rock outcrop above a river in a narrow valley. Its beauty is enhanced by the many reliefs carved into the exterior of the church walls.
Bodbe is associated with the grave of St. Nino, the evangeliser of Georgia. Although evidence suggests that the complex (that includes a convent and a sacred spring in the valley beneath it) goes back many centuries, the current site has been extensively renovated by the current religious community meaning that it is difficult to evaluate the age of the extant architecture. The monastic church undoubtably goes back at least until the Middle Ages, but the chapel and bathing pool located by the sacred spring is modern.
Bolnisi Sioni church has the oldest dated inscription in the Georgian language on Georgian soil that states that the church was completed in 493 (the earliest securely dated Georgian inscriptions have been discovered in the Holy Land). The original inscription is now in the National Art Museum in Tbilisi, but a replica has been placed on the church wall. This tells that the building was completed by the end of the C5th and this is particularly notable given the exceptional size of the building. It is referred to as a five-aisled basilica. The central nave is flanked by aisles to the north and south, that end in presbyteries, but in addition doors lead on both the north and south sides to the same kind of semi-open arcades found at Nekresi. The northern aisle terminates in an apse, creating an al fresco chapel and is walled in to the south, east and west, but open to the elements on the north side. To the south, the central element of this arcade is open to the south, but the eastern and western extremities have been closed in to create two chambers at either end of the arcade. In addition there is a C17th belltower in the courtyard of the church. The church has received a new roof and parts of the architecture, particularly on the northern side, have recently been renovated.