Pictures & Images of Georgian Historic Churches, Monasteries & Cathedrals - { 600 images } Created 29 Jan 2019

Pictures photos images of Georgian Orthodox churches, cathedrals & monasteries architecture, Georgia (country). One of the most iconic symbols of Georgia is the architecture of the much loved classic Georgian Church. The best known Georgian church style dates form the 11-12th century from a period known as the “Georgian Golden Age”. The oldest Georgian Churches date from the 4th century and are Byzantine Roman Basilica style buildings, based on Roman Basilicas, that were typical of the early Christian Syrian and Asia Minor churches of the era. The Basilica Church was typified by its long low shape with a semi circular apse. From the 6th century this style of church had developed into a uniquely Georgian style with three naives and longitudinal walls with door rather than arches and no transepts. Only one such church has survived today which can be seen at Bolnisi Sioni. The Georgian houses of the 3rd and 4th millennium BC had domes and this shape evolved into churches of the 6th century SD which had a cruciform ground plan rising to a central cupola at its centre. The focus of these churches was its centre under the dome that symbolised heaven. This style of Georgian church developed into another unique style with four semi circular apse on at the end of arm of the cross shape which is know as the Tetraconch style. This is typified in probably the first example of a Tetraconch style church in the Jvari Church at Mtskheta. This church became the prototype for all Georgian Tetraconch churches. Arab invasions of the 7th century curtailed church buildings and badly disrupted life in Georgia until the Georgian Renaissance of the 11th & 12th centuries. Much larger than their Tetraconch predecessors the classic Georgia design usually retains the cruciform ground plan with a central cupola. The cupola is of a cylindrical drum design with long narrow windows leading up to a simple round pitched roof. The overall impression is of a church that is tall and narrow rising up to heaven. These classical Georgian churches are decorated simply with geometric designs, especially around the windows. The main interior lighting is through the windows of the domed cupola which draws the congregations eye up to heaven and ultimately to the fresco, often of Christ Pantocrator, pained on the inside of the cupola roof and the Theotokos, depicting the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, and child, in the apse over the altar. The inside of Georgian churches were highly decorated with all interior surfaces being decorated. The predominate style followed the popular byzantine Roman style of the era. The end of the Georgian Golden Age was brought about by the Fourth Crusade sack of Constantinople bringing about the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, leading to the Mongol invasions leading to the sacking and destruction of many Georgian monasteries.

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