Jvari Monastery

Mtskheta, Georgia

Jvari is a sixth century Georgian Orthodox monastery near Mtskheta. Along with other historic structures of Mtskheta, it is listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. It stands on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the town of Mtskheta.

According to traditional accounts, on this location in the early 4th century Saint Nino, a female evangelist credited with converting King Mirian III of Iberia to Christianity, erected a large wooden cross on the site of a pagan temple. A small church was erected over the remnants of the wooden cross in circa 545 AD. The present building is generally believed to have been built between 590 and 605 by Erismtavari Stepanoz I. 

The importance of Jvari complex increased over time and attracted many pilgrims. In the late Middle Ages, the complex was fortified by a stone wall and gate, remnants of which still survive. During the Soviet period, the church was preserved as a national monument, but access was rendered difficult by tight security at a nearby military base. After the independence of Georgia, the building was restored to active religious use.

The Jvari church is an early example of a four-apsed church with four niches. Between the four apses are three-quarter cylindrical niches which are open to the central space, and the transition from the square central bay to the base of the dome's drum is effected through three rows of squinches.The Jvari church had a great impact on the further development of Georgian architecture and served as a model for many other churches.

Varied bas-relief sculptures with Hellenistic and Sasanian influences decorate its external façades, some of which are accompanied by explanatory inscriptions in Georgian Asomtavruli script. The entrance tympanumon the southern façade is adorned with a relief of the Glorification of the Cross, the same façade also shows an Ascension of Christ.

Erosion is playing its part to deteriorate the monastery, with its stone blocks being degraded by wind and acidic rain.

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Details

Founded: 590-605 AD
Category: Religious sites in Georgia

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrew Grave (9 months ago)
Amazing views, worth to visit, strong winds up on the hill near the monastery, also you can find a little salt lake - but its really cool looking
dian kustanti (9 months ago)
Such a magnificent historical building. Salute to preserve this treasure yet need to improve for tourism. Was cold to the bone weather back then Oct16.
Amit Sharma (9 months ago)
Food for the Soul , For a religious person it is a Pilgrimage , For a lover of natural beauty is is food for the Soul. Historic monument and Breathtaking views of the Two river Joining into one , you can easily see the Old Capital Tbilisi from here . The scenery was Breathtaking. There is also a Dry lake and perfect place for snacks and Coffee.
Arslan Khalid (9 months ago)
Magnificent structure that overlooks the outskirts of Tbilisi. Set high in the mountains, it provides a breathtaking view of the surrounding areas and is surrounded by lush, dense forest. A true masterpiece in architecture that has to be seen in order to be fully appreciated.
Margarita Z (9 months ago)
Beautiful place, great view. It is very old place with it's great history. You can take a lot of great photos and buy a fresh orange or grenade juice on the way. Perfect place to have a wedding
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