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THE KATSKHI CHURCH of Saviour is located in the hamlet of Katskhi, in the gorge of river Katskhura, in Chiatura region. Cathedral was built at the beginning of XI century. Its main parts were constructed in 1010 -1014 by the feudal family of Bagvashi (on the main entrance of the edifice one can see segments of the Bagvashi family coat of arms: lion and elderly angel).

Katskhi was their family church and venue for burial. In Katskhi was laid to rest one of the most powerful and noted feudals, Liparit IV Bagvashi (died in 1064). After downfall of the family of Bagvashi and their extradition from Georgia Katskhi cathedral has been ravaged. In XVI century neglected and damaged cathedral was resuscitated by its new holder Abulasar Amirejibi.

In XVII-XVIII centuries Katskhi belonged to the family of Abashidze, and from 50-ies of the XVIII century it was transferred to the management of Royal administration.

Katskhi is surrounded by five-angle fence. It has old bell tower with the function of a gate. Katskhi cathedral is one of the outstanding and original monuments of the Georgian religious architecture. There is no other architectural feat with the same form. Construction consists of three staggering parts: outer space, building of a church and a neck of a dome. It is a six-apse cathedral. The construction used to be decorated with rich ornaments.

However, as a result of a restoration conducted by the Exarchate of the Russian church in 1854, ornaments were removed and frescos were painted. On the tops of all entrances to the church there are bas-reliefs (primarily with images of lion). All bas-reliefs of the cathedral have inscriptions in Asomtavruli. Most of the legends are in tittles.

MOTSAMETA CHURCH is located within 6 km distance from Kutaisi to the East, in the gorge of river Tskaltsitela. The history of its foundation is linked to the names of the nobles of Argveti, David and Konstantine Mkheidze. They were detained by Murvan Kru who invaded Georgia in 736-738 and punished them to death for fidelity to Christianity.

The church has beatified martyred heroes as saints. Their Holy Remains at first were laid to rest at the destroyed Annunciation church. In XI century Bagrat III rebuilt destroyed church and reburied martyrs to this church.

In 1844-65 under the auspices of the Bishop of Imereti, David Tsereteli, Motsameta was refurbished and expanded. Dome was mounted on the cathedral, stone flooring made and iconostasis changed. In 1923 the Bolsheviks closed the church and exhumed Holy Remains from the tomb and threw them into the water. The local residents managed to save Holy Remains. They were handed over to the museum of Kutaisi. Motsameta has restarted its function in 1954. The bodies of David and Konstantine were carried from the museum and reburied in the church. The holiday of Motsameta is celebrated on October 15.

Copyright © 2017. N. Elizbarashvili, B. Kupatadze
Copyright © 2017. “Dani” Publishing

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