Poti Cathedral

Poti, Georgia

Poti Cathedral is an imitation of Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, and it was built in 1906-07 with the great contribution of Niko Nikoladze, the mayor of Poti. Notably, Niko Nikoladze chose the location of the cathedral in the center of the town to make it viewable from every side of Poti.

A. Zelenko and M. Marfeld were the architects of this Neo-Byzantine cathedral and the capacity of the church is 2,000 people. The ornaments and decorations are modeled after the medieval Christian cathedrals in the Trabzonmountains. The Poti Cathedral has three iconostases and among the main decoration of the iconostasis are the icons of St. Nino, St. Andrew the First Called, and the St. David the Builder.

This is one of the earliest examples of reinforced concrete applied to a church. The Hennebique system was employed following a project made by the office's engineers in Paris. Several projects were made, but because of the bad soil, a traditional solution in masonry was not adequate. So, the reinforced concrete was used for the foundations and the entire structure, domes comprised.

In 1923, after the Red Army invasion of Georgia, the Communist government turned it into a theater and the bells were donated to the industrialization foundation. In 2005, the cathedral was restored to the Georgian Orthodox Church.



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E60 24, Poti, Georgia
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Founded: 1906-1907
Category: Religious sites in Georgia

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

vlD noni (2 years ago)
nádherný kostel
Giorgi Bekurashvili (3 years ago)
Beautiful and modern church
Mariam Kvitsiani (4 years ago)
It's a beautiful church, with interesting history. Nothing like traditional Georgian-style church, it was supposed to imitate Hagia Sofia. During Soviet era, it was transformed into a theater, but since then it went back to being a church.
Bacho Zarra (4 years ago)
1895 წლის 17 ივნისს რუსეთის იმპერატორმა ქუთაისის სამხედრო გუბერნატორს ნება დართო, შექმნილიყო ფოთის საკათედრო ტაძრის მშენებლობის განსაკუთრებული კომიტეტი, რომლის ხელმძღვანელობა დაევალა ნიკო ნიკოლაძეს, რომელსაც განუზრახავს ქართული არქიტექტურული სტილის ტაძრის აგება, სათანადო პროექტიც შექმნილა, მაგრამ როგორც ირკვევა იგი რუსულმა მმართველობამ დაიწუნა, შემდგომ კი არქიტექტორების ზელენკოსა და მარფელდის მიერ შემუშავებულ იქნა ახალი პროექტი კონსტანტინეპოლში არსებული წმ. სოფიას ტაძრის მიხედვით. იგი წარმოადგენდა თითქმის მის ზუსტ ასლს, შემცირებული მასშტაბით. ტაძარი 2000 მლოცველზე იყო გათვალისწინებული. ფოთის საკათედრო ტაძარი 2011 წელს 1906 წლის 14 სექტემბერს, ჯვართამაღლების დღესასწაულზე, გურია-სამეგრელოს ეპისკოპოსმა გიორგიმ (ალადაშვილი) ტაძრის საძირკველი საზეიმო ვითარებაში აკურთხა. საბჭოთა მმართველობის დროს ტაძარში აიკრძალა ღვთისმსახურება და შენობა გადეცა ქალაქ ფოთის თეატრს, ამდენად იქ ფუნქციონირებდა ფოთის დრამატული თეატრი. 2005 წელს სახელმწიფომ ტაძარი ისევ საქართველოს ავტოკეფალურ მართლმადიდებლურ ეკლესიას გადასცა.
archili skhvediani (6 years ago)
Nice church, built a couple of years ago.
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Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.