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Nicortsminda Cathedral

Date of Submission: 24/10/2007
Criteria: (ii)(iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Ministry of Culture, Monuments Protection and Sport of Georgia
State, Province or Region:
Racha Region
Coordinates: N 42 27 E43 5
Ref.: 5229
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Description

The Nicortsminda Cathedral of St. Nicholas is one of the most important architectural monuments of the medieval Georgia. It is located in the village bearing the same name in the mountainous region Racha in Western Georgia. According to the epigraphy on the western entrance, Nicortsminda Cathedral was built during the reign of King Bagrat III in 1010-1014.

The Cathedral is interesting because of its plan: it is inscribed within a hexagonal whose sides, with the exception of the West one, are flanked by the apses; from the outside, it is cruciform. The chapels were added later, but also in the 11th century. Cathedral is generously decorated with rich ornamental relief depicting Transfiguration, Doomsday and other evangelic subjects, figures of the Saints, and of real and fantastic beasts. Nicortsminda lapidary decoration testifies to the superb skill of the craftsmen and the artistic standards, which make this Cathedral one of the most outstanding examples of Georgian architecture.

The interior is decorated with wall painting of 16th and 17th centuries with numerous portraits of feudal rulers.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The authenticity of monument is completely preserved in architectural forms, materials, location and other necessary attributes. The physical condition of building can be characterised as good, while the part of wall painting is demolished. Conservation works have been regularly conducted on the Nicortsminda Cathedral during past decades.

Comparison with other similar properties

Medieval Georgian Architecture is strictly distinctive cultural phenomenon. In the view of State Party, it is therefore unreasonable to apply comparative regional analysis to this monument.