The monastery of Lamaria (Dormition of the Virgin) lies to the north of Zhibiani village in Ushguli community in Svaneti. Ushguli is the highest inhabited collection of villages in Europe and lies more than 2,200 metres above sea level. The monastery is being restored and a new community of monks has settled there post-communism. The church has not been damaged by too much intervention and, as with many other Svan churches, has an additional apses aisle to the south. This connects to the main chapel only by the narthex and has a cauldron in front of the altar for ritual animal sacrifice. In the main chapel there are interesting stone niches built into the iconostasis that do not correspond exactly to ambons and are of unclear liturgical function. The church is C10th.
Date of Visit
6th July 2013
Metadata and all media released under Creative Commons unless otherwise indicated
Emma Loosley, “Zhibiani village, Ushguli community, Svaneti,” Architecture and Asceticism, accessed October 19, 2021, https://architectureandasceticism.exeter.ac.uk/items/show/115.