Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary constructed by the king of the Abkhaz and the Georgians, Bagrat III (978-1014), on the Ukimerion Mount is the main landmark of Kutaisi. Here the Georgian monarchs were ordained as kings, and the enthronization was conducted by Kutaisi Bishop. As per the legend on the northern wall of the cathedral, construction of the cathedral was finished in 1003.
BAGRAT CATHEDRAL, like Svetitskhoveli, Oshki, Alaverdi holds a special place in the history of Georgian architecture. It is a brilliant example of the Georgian church style of X-XI centuries. There are presumptions that Georgian kings of XI century (Giorgi I, Bagrat IV) were laid to rest there. In the first half of the XI century rich ornamented gates were attached to the cathedral from south and west which were preserved until 30-ies of the XIX century. Bagrat cathedral is rich with adornment and ornaments, especially with decorations of tops of windows and gates. Bases and column tops are decorated with bas-relief images. Floor was decorated with mosaic.
Sadly enouph, nowadays the cathedral is very damaged. According to the report of Vakhushti Bagrationi in 1692, the Ottomans have toppled the dome of the cathedral. In the course of time its destruction continued. Today the Foundation for the Revival of Bagrat Cathedral has been set up with the aim of reconsting the cathedral using state-of-the-art technologies.
Since 1994 Bagrat cathedral has been listed in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. In 1995 church service was renewed in the cathedral. In 2009 the government of Georgia launched works for full restoration of the Cathedral.
Copyright © 2017. N. Elizbarashvili, B. Kupatadze
Copyright © 2017. “Dani” Publishing