Continuing our stroll through the Old Town of Tbilisi. In previous materials, I've mentioned the ancient Jvari's Mama's Church located in the central part of the Georgian capital. Today, I will tell you about the history of this building and show you its interiors.
How to Get There
I came across the church completely by chance while wandering through the historic streets of Tbilisi. The nearest metro stations, "Liberty Square" and "Avlabari," are within a 15-minute walk from the church.
Entrance to the complex is free.
A Bit of History
During my research, I encountered several names for this ancient church. For example, on online maps, it is called Jvari's Mama's, at the entrance information board, the building is named the Church of the Father of the Cross.
The first religious structure on this site appeared about one and a half thousand years ago, built during the reign of King Vakhtang I Gorgasali. According to legend, this ruler pointed to the location for the construction of Tbilisi. Another legend claims that Saint Nino conducted her activities here, associating her with the Christianization of Georgia.
In the 14th century, the temple complex was destroyed by the forces of Tamerlane. In the 16th century, the building was reconstructed, but even after that, the church suffered from renovations and enemy attacks. The constructions we see today are believed to date back to the 16th-19th centuries. In the past, the church belonged to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
During the Soviet era, the murals on the church walls were painted over, and the building was used as a library. In the 1980s, a reconstruction took place, after which the complex was returned to the faithful.
The territory of the complex can be described as quite small. Around the church, there is a green square, and in the southern part, there is a tomb from 1994. However, I couldn't find information about whose grave it is, and I am not proficient in the Georgian language. To the north, the church complex borders the St. Virgin Mary temple of Norashen, dating back to the 15th and 18th centuries.
Tourists can enter the Jvari's Mama's Church. The compact main hall of the church looks very cozy, with the walls and dome covered in murals. During my visit, there were no other travelers, so I could examine all the details of the vibrant interior closely.
The next part of my route through the center of Tbilisi will be dedicated to the unique and unusual building of the Rezo Gabriadze Marionette Theater.
Have a nice trip!