Bagrati Cathedral (Kutaisi)

The cathedral of the Dormition of the Virgin in Kutaisi, known since ancient times as Bagrati Cathedral, was built on the order of Bagrat III, the king of United Georgia (c. 978-1014). According to historical sources Bagrat III, a descendent of the Bagrationis from Tao, “was crowned in Kutaisi” and from that time onwards the city was referred to as the “Royal Domain”. By the year 1010, Kutaisi had become the capital of a united Georgian state. Bagrati cathedral is one of the largest Georgian cruciform churches. An inscription on the northern flank of the building tells us that its floor was finished in 1003. However, certain works continued up to the year 1008. In the 1020s, the large porches were built on the east and the west of the cathedral. The façades are decorated with blind arches, a typical motif in Georgian Architecture of this time, with richly ornamented window framings and sculptural reliefs on the capitals on porches. Today it remains as an imposing ruin: the Bagrati cathedral was damaged by Ottoman troops in 1692 and the building suffered further damage in 1770 during battles for the liberation of the Kutaisi Fortress from the Turks. The west porch was destroyed in the 19th century.

View from the Northeast (Photo: Dror Maayan)

View of the Southern Façade and Bell Tower (Second half of the 18th century) (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Southern Gate (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Capital with Sculptural Relief of Animals, 11th century, Southern Gate (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Two Male Heads (fragments), 10th - 11th century, Southern Façade (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Three Stepped Pilaster, 11th century, Eastern Façade (Photo: Dror Maayan)

© KHI in Florence | 15.05.2021 10:24:13