Religion in Tbilisi Georgia
Religion in Tbilisi Georgia

Holy Trinity Cathedral  Church

Holy Trinity Cathedral Church is the religious center of Georgia . Its construction took 7 years and was finished in 2003. Its height  goes up to  101 meters with 137 meter diameter including vestibule  gallery. 10 churches are disposed in the interior. Together with the main cathedral, the chief gate,  Iveria Virgin Mary and Ilya Tetezbitel churches are also included. The dome and 2,5 tone cross of the cathedral are gilded. Holy Trinity church is one of the grandiose churches in the orthodox  world. The sacred  items   are kept in this church, amongst an unique  handwritten bible of 1984-2004.  

Sioni Church

Virgin Mary dormition church  Sioni  is located  on the street having the same name , in one of the oldest districts of Tbilisi , in upper Kala. According to the legend  the first church on the very place  was constructed by the king Vakhtang Gorgasali in the V century. In the north of the church  a three  staged church tower is  constructed by Alexander the first  and renovated  in the  XVIII century. The second church tower  crowned  with broach  is located across from the street, in the north –western side. It is constructed in 1812 and is acknowledged as one of the earliest samples of classicist buildings. Sioni church   had  been the crypt   of Georgian  Catholicos  Patriarchs. According to the saying St. Evstati Mtskheteli  ( died in 550 as a tortured)  lies in rest under the refectory, St. Nino’s  vine  cross is kept in the church. 

Anchiskhati Church

In the  historical district, in upper Kala, on Shavteli street  the Anchiskhati  basilica is located, the church dates back to the 6th century, and according to the historical sources  it was constructed  by  Dachi Ujarmeli ( from Ujarma) and it was bearing the name of the Virgin Mary’s birth.  The name Anchiskhati was given to it a little bit later, when  Peter Meskhi moved the  image of Christ not made by hand from the Anchi curch   to this one  in 1675  , Peter was granted the  position of a pastor by the Catholicos  Domenti.  From this day on the Meskhishvilis  were  pastors of the church.  The son of Peter- Alex  is the founder of the calligraphers’ dynasty called the  Aleximaskhishvilis.

Metekhi Church

Virgin Mary Metekhi church is located on the left bank of the river Mtkvari, on the cliff plateau , the first church on this place was probably built by Vakhtang Gorgasali symbolically resembling the church built on virgin Mary’s tomb in Gethsemane garden in Jerusalem. According to the legend the former catholicos  Kirion   transferred the body of the saint Shushanik  to this church in VII century.  

Catholic Cathedral

A long history preceded  the construction of  catholic cathedral  in lower Kala , on G. Abesadze  (ex –Catholics) street, that  dates back to the 13th century since the Catholics settlement in Tbilisi. In 1240 the Dominican monks  founded a monastery  and in 1328 John the Baptizer cathedral was constructed  and Tbilisi  episcopacy was being founded that  halted its   functioning  in the 16th century. The  Catholic missioners returning to Georgia  in the 17th century ,constructed  the Annunciation church –so called the Latin’s church on Catholics street, of which they were deprived off by Teimuraz the II and this king abolished the Catholics from Tbilisi. The present church was constructed across from the Annunciation church( that did not come up to day)  in 1805-1808 by Fra Philipo Foranian.

Synagogue

The Hebrews have been living in Tbilisi since it was  founded. According to the sources that have come up to day , their main dwelling area was  lower Kala. At this very time the Hebrews had the synagogue in Kldisubani, though it  did not survive the time. The synagogue located on K. Leselidze street  was constructed in 1910.  The brick building is deeply protruded into  the  depth of the sidewalk. The wide  stone   stairs lead  us to the street.  There is one more functioning synagogue  in  Tkavi blind alley in Tbilisi.  But in the synagogue that was constructed at the teens of the 20th century on Anton Katholocos street , the  historic- ethnographical museum  of Hebrews  ( founded in 1933) is disposed at present.

Mosque

The Arabian conquest  of the 18th century  was entailed with settlement of the Muslim  population. According to Platon  Ioseliani , the first mosque in Tbilisi was constructed   in the 16th century  it was the Shiite mosque   constructed on the place of the devastated Christian church  with the  wish of the shah- Suleiman  in 1522, this mosque was removed during the Metekhi bridge construction in  1950. despite this one, other Muslim  worship places   were in Tbilisi, such as: the Sunnite   mosque  at the end of  the botanical garden, constructed in 1723-1735 during the Osman  reign , which was destroyed in the middle of the 17th century  with the order of Nadir- Shah . In 1846-1851 the mosque was renovated according o the  project of the  architect Jovanni Scoudier , but this latter one was  also destroyed  at the end of the 19th century and the present mosque was constructed on  its place. The eight angled Minaret  of the brick mosque draws the attention even from the far distance and is perceived  in a different  ways from the various sides. The mosque, located at the end of  the Botanical garden is the only functioning one at present, and it serves as the Shiite so the Sunnite Muslims.

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