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Samtavisi Cathedral

Date of Submission: 24/10/2007
Criteria: (iv)
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Ministry of Culture, Monuments Protection and Sport of Georgia
State, Province or Region:

Gori District


Coordinates: N42 00 E44 24
Ref.: 5230
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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party

Description

Samtavisi domed Cathedral, built in 1030 by architect Hillarion Samtavneli, is remarkable due to the beauty of proportions and refinement of carving on the façades. Compared with other similar structures of the same period its plan is somewhat truncated, almost square. There is a new system of decoration on the eastern façade, which was later developed more fully and became popular it is a composition in the form of a large ornamented cross and decorated window surrounds with lozenge pattern beneath them. A blind arcade forms an organic part of the overall decoration of the façade. Besides the splendidly executed carving, there is an interesting bas-relief of griffin, under the right-hand arch. There are fragments of 17th century frescoes in the interior.

The Cathedral has been repaired repeatedly. In the 15th century, the dome and the western wall were built anew. Within the enclosed area of the Cathedral, there are the remains of a dwelling, the so-called bishop's palace. At the entry to the enclosure stands a gate belfry of the late feudal period.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

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