Barakoni Church

Barakoni Church

The village of Tsesi in Racha Region is surrounded by mountains and covered in lush greenery. There, at the confluence of the Lukhuni and Rioni Rivers, stands Barakoni Church serving as a timeless monument of Georgian architecture.
Racha-Lechkhumi & Kvemo Svaneti

History and Architecture of Barakoni Church

The St. Virgin Mary Church of Barakoni was built in 1753, by master Avtandil Shulavreli, under the order of the feudal lord (eristavi) of Racha of that time. The temple is almost entirely built of stones from the village of Itsi. 

The rectangular domed church has no additional buildings attached, and it is supported by the edges of the altar and two pillars. The exterior of the temple is decorated with various carvings.

It’s hard to find such a distinctive iconostasis as the one displayed here, which is almost completely adorned with skillfully painted icons. 

Due to the fact that it is domed and is located near the confluence of two rivers, the Barakoni is often referred to as the small Svetitskhoveli (perhaps Georgia’s most significant church, located in Mtskheta).

There used to be another church of the local lords next to Barakoni, while the religious literature books were being printed up until 200 years ago. In the area, you can also see the ruins of a single-nave basilica built under the order of Queen Tamar.

The time flows differently, when you stand next to Barakoni, on the small green cape, and look at the babbling rivers and severe mountains, the guardians of these valleys. It slows down and lets you enjoy this moment.

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