Saint George's Church

Tbilisi, Georgia

Saint George's Church was probably founded in 1251. The date was proposed based on an Arabic inscription on a khachkar over the western door of the church yard. According to 13th century chronicler Hovhannes Erznkatsi, the church was built by Prince Umek of Karin.

The church was given to the Persian garrison by Safavid Shah Abbas I of Persia in 1616 and returned to the Armenian community in 1748 by King Heraclius II of Georgia. It was burnt when Persians sacked Tbilisi in 1795. The church was thoroughly restored in the 17th century, and then again in 1832 and 1881.

It became the seat of the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church after the Vank Cathedral was demolished by Soviet authorities in the 1930s.

The most recent renovation of the church began in 2012 and was completed in 2015.

Architecture and frescoes

The church is built on a traditional plan of a partitioned, open cross with a rectangular perimeter. Like most of the churches in Tbilisi, it is built in brick. The outer walls of the church are covered with stucco.

Late 18th-century paintings by Hovnatan Hovnatanian decorate the church's interior. Between 1922 and 1923 Gevorg Bashinjaghian decorated the church's internal walls, the altar, and the walls in front of it, creating four large murals.


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Founded: 1251
Category: Religious sites in Georgia


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ruzanna Konjoryan (3 years ago)
A place to pray and get spiritual relaxation
David Clarke (5 years ago)
A beautiful example of an Armenian Cathedral.
G L L (5 years ago)
Small but very quaint 13th-century Armenian church in the old city of Tbilisi, Georgia's capital. It is one of the two functioning Armenian churches in Tbilisi and is the cathedral of the Georgian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It has many magnificent 18th century frescoes and artwork from through out the centuries.
Mohammed Abdallah (5 years ago)
Small for a cathedral yet exceptionally large for an Armenian church, this amazing 13th century structure (consecutively renovated) can’t be missed. Its distinct blue tower is only rivaled in its beauty by the frescos of Hivantanian (18th century) and the more recent Bashinjaghian (1920s). In the courtyard there is a marble plaque by Bashinjagian marking the resting place of Sayat Nova. Don’t miss it.
Rade V (5 years ago)
The church is old. There are lots of churches in Tbilis and this one is in old Tbilisi. It is an orthodox church. You can find this church if you are walking around the restaurants at the old Tbilisi.
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