Jvaris Mama

Jvaris Mama

Visitors to the historic district of Old Tbilisi should look out for Jvaris Mama, a fine domed church at 41 Kote Abkhazi street. Built in the 16th century, the church has a remarkable story behind it.

History of the Church

According to legend, the founder of Tbilisi, King Vakhtang Gorgasali built a church named “Golgotha” on this site in the 5th century. 

This church was built for nuns from Jerusalem nunneries, including the Holy Cross (in Georgian "Jvari") nunnery, a Georgian religious and cultural-educational center from the medieval period. The nunnery was later supported by Jvaris Mama parish for years.. 

This ancient church was destroyed by Timur’s army in the 14th century. The current building dates from the 16th century. 

The facade of the church is modestly decorated with cross carvings in bricks. The frescos were painted white during the Soviet period. In 1983, the territory around the Jvaris Mama church was rebuilt and the church was reopened in 1989.

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