Katskhi Monastery

Katskhi, Georgia

The Katskhi Monastery of Nativity of the Savior was built at the behest of the Baguashi family in the period of 988–1014. The church building is noted for a hexagonal design and rich ornamentation. Closed down by the Soviet government in 1924, the monastery was revived in 1990 and is now operated by the Eparchy of Sachkhere and Chiatura of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

The Katskhi monastery is a octagonal building of more complex design than other similar polygonal Georgian monuments. The exterior of the church features three gradually narrowing cylindrical levels formed by the faceted gallery, the main body of the church, and the drum of the dome.

The six apses are inscribed into the outer polyhedron and surrounded by an ambulatory from all sides. A single spacious interior compartment around the subdome bay includes radially oriented semi-circular apses. One of these, the altar apse, projects outward prominently due to its large bema. The drum of the dome is also faceted. Each facet of the main body of the church as well as that of the dome and gallery terminate in a pediment with three lines of polygonal cornices.

The building was richly ornated, but the decoration of two upper tiers was lost in the process of the 1854 restoration. Of note is a large composition in relief at the southern vestibule of the gallery, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, featuring a cross supported by four angels.

The church is surrounded by a pentagonal wall, which contains a free-standing bell tower in its eastern corner. These structures are later additions, probably from the 17th or 18th century.




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Founded: 988-1014 AD
Category: Religious sites in Georgia

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User Reviews

Neil Locker (9 months ago)
This is worth visiting and it’s only 20 minutes drive from Chiatura. The chapel has a couple of nice paintings inside. Try to avoid staying at Chiatura. It’s a mining town on the wain with a poor vibe to it.
Kwang Nam Kim (10 months ago)
This area is mountainous area and can reach there only taxi or rent cars from the small town of Chiatura. From the parking just 5 minutes uphills steps. Looks like Meteora monastery and height is around 40m. Worth to visit but transportation is little bit inconvenient. Call Katskhi pillar or column. Feee admission. Open 9 am to 8 pm
Elske Heermans (11 months ago)
You can't climb up, but the garden and visitor's centre are free to visit. Very impressive to see the church up there! If you're coming by car. Just drive all the way up to the column, there's lots of parking space nearby. Along the road you'll see other parking spaces but you can drive past them. The closest space is almost next to the column.
Nadira Young (13 months ago)
Great place! The monks were really helpful when they learned that we were let down by local guesthouse… they made sure that we are looked after by local family which allowed us to stay around their house…
legionofpickles (14 months ago)
Place is situated on a steep hill, but it has good pavement in place, right up to the entrance. Once inside, see pics attached: few stores of tourist goodies, few places for pics. Teritory inside is being kept beautifuly taken care of and in a clean shape.
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