|Nikortsminda Cathedral |
|Affiliation||Georgian Orthodox Church|
|District||Racha (historic region)|
|Location||Nikortsminda, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti Province (Mkhare), Georgia|
|Type||Domed cruciform plan|
|Completed||1014; Belfry: late 19th century|
Nikortsminda was built in 1010–1014 during the reign of Bagrat III of Georgia and was repaired in 1534 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.
The Cathedral is on the Tentative List for status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stylistically, Nikortsminda reflects the Georgian cross-dome style of architecture.
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 inscription of the western entrance testifies the fact
- The Spiritual Treasure of Georgia. Khelovneba Publishers, Tbilisi: 2005.
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