Barakoni Church. Racha, Georgia

Posted on November 22, 2016. Filed under: Around Georgia, Racha |

By Tika Bujiashvili

According to Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani Barakoni means ‘Shining In White’.

Barakoni Church of the Mother of God is located in the village of Tsesi, Ambrolauri Municipality, about 6-7 hours drive from Tbilisi. It is built on a top of a steep cliff and overlooks the River Rioni. Entering the Church yard you will see a note providing tourists with a little historical details about the church.

According to historical records the Church was built in 1753 by the architect Avtandil Shulavreli upon the request of the local lord Rostom of Racha. The name of the architect is commemorated in the inscription of the eastern facade. It is a domed cruciform church and one of the last important monuments in the tradition of medieval Georgian architecture. The church was built of neatly trimmed stable stand stones and richly decorated with patterned stone carving. The facade includes good examples of the XVIII century engravings. High level of craftsmanship is even surprising if you look through the history of Georgia and found out what a dark period of building the church was for the country when Ottoman rule ended.

Another difficult period for the church was Soviet period. The church was closed then. 1991 Racha earthquake gave a little damage to the church though it was quickly repaired.

The temple is well entered in a landscape and perfectly looks from far away. It is at the route and it is easy to reach it. There is Convent of St. anointers today.

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Nikortsminda Cathedral. Racha, Georgia

Posted on November 20, 2016. Filed under: Around Georgia, Racha |

By Tika Bujiashvili

Nikortsminda is a domed cathedral which was built in 1010-1014 by King Bagrat III-the first king of unified Georgia. At first there was a monastery, though in the XVI century King of the Imereti principality, also named Bagrat III, restored it and transformed it into a cathedral. The Cathedral is St. Nikola’s. The chapels were added later, but they also were built in the XI century.

Nikortsminda stands out with its exterior stone carvings. Each part of the design is related to the theme of divine greatness of Christ. The interior is decorated with mural paintings which were painted in the XVI-XVIII centuries. The rich and beautiful ornaments can be found everywhere, both inside and outside. Facades and annexes, besides the ornaments, are decorated with the most important relief statues from a historical evolutionary point of view.

Due to the earthquake in 1991, the roof of the Cathedral and the drainage system were damaged. The condition of the church paintings became urgent, especially in the dome neck and the west wing. Restoration works started in 2012 and some unknown murals, painted in the XVI century, were found. According to the inscription, found during the restoration, the painters of the cathedral were Javakhadze and Tsulukidze.

Nikortsminda‘s decoration testifies to the superb skill of the craftsmen and the artistic standards, which make this Cathedral one of the most outstanding examples of Georgian architecture.

Since October 24th 2007 Nikortsminda is included in the test list of UNESCO world heritage.

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Shaori Reservoir or Lake

Posted on November 5, 2016. Filed under: Racha |

By Tika Bujiashvili

Shaori reservoir or Lake is located in Ambrolaury Municipality, Racha region about 275 km away from Tbilisi. The lake is at the altitude of 1132 m. Its length is 7.1 km and width-2.7km.  The depth of the lake is about 1200-1400 m

Shaori Lake has stunning Landscape especially in autumn when everything is green, gold and red.  It’s a Mountainous region. There are favorable dwelling conditions for fishes in the lake, so fishermen are often seen there.

While visiting Shaori Lake you can visit Nikortsminda and Tskhrajvari too.

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TskhraJvari, Racha Region

Posted on October 14, 2016. Filed under: Around Georgia, Racha |

By Tika Bujiashvili

The route to Tskhra Jvari starts from Tkibuli centre. It is about 3km walk up to the tiny St. George’s chapel on the peak of the mountain.

There are several legends about Tskhra Jvari. According to the legend, there lived Sopromadze family in one village, whose son couldn’t live but died at an early age. One day the whole village gathered and prayed. They vowed they would fly a dove in the air and the place it sat they would build a chapel. After the day, Sopromadze’s son lived for a long time. The villagers carried stones in their hands and erected nine crosses on the ninth place the dove sat.

According to another legend, one family’s nine sons went to the war. Father prayed every day for his sons. He decided to make a sacrifice and erected nine crosses on Tkibuli Mountain.  After the war his sons returned healthy.

Today at the end of May, people not only from Tkibuli, but different parts of Georgia visit Tskhta Jvari. They Climb up to 1565 meters above the sea level and discover the legend about nine iron crosses at the top of Tskhra Jvari Mountain. They enjoy an unforgettable view over Tkibuli reservoir and green flatlands of Imereti.

During the soviet times there used to be one of the longest cable car systems leading to the top and the sanatorium. Unfortunately today there are only ruins left.

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