On top of the mountain above the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Iberia city of Mtskheta, at the confluence of the rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi, on Armazi Mountain, stands Jvari Monastery – the first monument of Georgia, listed in the world heritage list of UNESCO as one of the best masterpieces of medieval Georgian architecture.
According to legend, at the beginning of the IV century St. Nino, who brought Christianity to Iberia, erected a wooden cross over the pagan temple. “Jvari “means “cross.” In 545, a small temple built here, but only ruins remained. The current Church erected in half a century, and the architects have made considerable efforts perfectly fit it into the landscape: the proportions of the rock, shape (in terms of-cross, inscribed in a square), the dome on an octagonal drum, very simple and expressive sculptures…
Frescoes in Jvari Monastery appear later than XI century. This monastery after the construction in VI century did not change its appearance.
The name of the architect is not known presumably it was Michel Theli. The medieval master was not conceited, and act on the words of the Psalm: “Not to us, o Lord, but unto Thy name give the glory!”- The main thing for the architect was to build a temple. It built not for centuries, but for millennia: the technique of “key architecture” is that one stone is “sitting” in another — the more time passes, the more solid this structure becomes.
During the Soviet period, the complex abandoned, as access to it was difficult because of the nearby military bases. After Georgia’s independence, the building and its religious significance restored.
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