Nikortsminda Cathedral was built in 1010-1014 during the reign of Bagrat III of Georgia and was repaired in 1634 by the King Bagrat III of Imereti. Three-storied bell-tower next to the Cathedral was built in the second half of the 19th century. Frescoes inside the Cathedral date from the 17th century.
Nikortsminda has a massive dome and has unbroken arcatures as its twelve windows, which are decorated with ornamented architraves. The Cathedral has a form of five apses from inside and the massive dome rest of the on the half-pillar shaped apse projections. The transition to the dome circle is affected by means of pendentives. Altar apse bema and the western passage make the space greater inside. Interior is decorated with frescoes from the 17th century and the rich ornaments, reflecting the mastery of the late-Medieval Georgian ecclesiastic art.
From the outside the Cathedral shapes like a short-armed rectangular cross and has a short segment to the west. The facades of the Cathedral are covered with smoothly hewn stone. Decorations include unbroken arcatures and various rich ornaments including multiple-figured story-telling reliefs and episodes (The Transfiguration, The Judgment Day, The Ascension of the Cross, figures of saint, real or imaginary animals, forming one premeditated program). Nikortsminda has one of the most beautiful decorations from all Georgian churches and cathedrals because several different styles can be seen among them, telling the richness of the selection of motifs and the manner of execution.
The Cathedral is on the Tentative List for status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.