The first Church on this site was built in the V century under King Vakhtang Gorgasali. It was a Basilica, fragments of the Foundation of which were found under the floor of the modern Cathedral. In the middle of the VI century by one of Assyrian fathers, Isidore Samtavisi, founded Stavisky diocese. He was buried in the main Church, and his grave is now in the left aisle of the Cathedral.
Later, in 1025-1030 on the site of the Basilica was built the current Cathedral by the architect Illarion Samtavneli. It turns out that the Cathedral was built simultaneously with the famous Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. Subsequently, the temple was rebuilt several times, and at the beginning of the XVI century, the dome collapsed, which had to be built again. At that time, the North, South and West walls of the Samtavisi Cathedral were also remodeled, and therefore today only on the East wall you can see the ornaments created a thousand years ago during construction.
The Cathedral is considered the standard of Georgian medieval architecture. The cross-domed Church was consecrated in the name of the icon of the Resurrection. Carved stone cross and ancient inscriptions can be seen on the untouched Eastern side. Fragments of paintings of the XVII century have also been preserved.
The area inside the fence is a cemetery. By the way, in the floor of the temple are embedded tombstones-here were buried representatives of the princely family amilahvari. It is interesting that in 1910 the Kashveti Church in Tbilisi was copied from the Samtavisi temple. Currently, Samtavisi Cathedral is a candidate for inclusion in the UNESCO world Heritage List.
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