Aketi Church of the Savior

Aketi Church of the Savior

Multiple legends swirl around the Aketi Church of the Saviour in the village of Lower Aketi. So enigmatic is its past that none know exactly when it was constructed, with some saying it was commissioned by Queen Tamar in the 12th century. Whatever the truth, it is a fascinating example of Georgian religious architecture.

History of Aketi Church of the Savior

The most popular story is that of Queen Tamar commissioning Greek artisans to build churches in the villages of Aketi and Atsana in the 12th-century. The chief artisan is said to have gone to work in Atsana, while his apprentice built the Aketi church. In the end, the apprentice’s work was so much better than the master’s that he was rewarded for it by the queen, while his master was so ashamed and angry that he cut off the apprentice’s right hand.

Whether true or not, the beauty of Aketi Church is certainly worth a queen's praise.

Legends about Aketi Church of the Savior

According to tradition, there used to be numerous holy objects and treasures kept in the church, including the Tetrosani Icon of the Virgin, the Gvarastavi Icon of Saint George, and the main holy object – the Icon of the Savior. They say that even Muslim Georgians used to come to pray to those icons. Unfortunately, the Icon of the Savior has since been lost.

Aketi Church of the Savior at Present

The church has been attacked and ransacked multiple times over its existence, but some of its treasures have been miraculously saved. There is an ornamented relief preserved on the entrance door, with two dragons on it. 

The church also underwent reconstruction in the 2010s.


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