Lagurka (The Kala church of Saints Cyricus and Julitta)

Lagurka (The Kala church of Saints Cyricus and Julitta)

Svaneti is a region of wonders, not only standing out for its ancient rituals, traditions, and bringing the legends to life, but also famous for its fascinating historical monuments. One such monument is the church of Lagurka, named for St. Cyricus and St. Julitta, in the village of Khe. Many legends and interesting customs are associated with it.
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

The Historical Significance of Lagurka

It is within Lagurka that the treasure of the Kala community is kept. Among the metalwork and painted icons from the Middle Ages is an enameled reliquary icon, which Svans call “the Shaliani Icon”. The locals will tell you that the water used to wash the icon has a powerful effect against evil, and can even be used to treat serious diseases.

The forest surrounding the church is also said to be sacred.

The Architecture of Lagurka

Lagurka is a small, 10th-century, hall-type church made from yellowish stone. It has annex buildings to the north and south, and a two-story bell tower to the west. The church once had a high stone wall surrounding it, but it has been partially destroyed.

There is also a refectory, rooms, and cells below the church, built into the slope atop which it stands.

The Artwork of Lagurka

Lagurka’s interior walls were painted by Tevdore, the court artist of King David Aghmashenebeli (the Builder). There are two scenes of the martyrdom of St. Cyricus and St. Julitta depicted in frescoes. Four scenes from the gospels can also be seen upon the vault of the church – the birth, baptism, crucifixion, and harrowing of hell.

Lagurka Today

In the Middle Ages, Lagurka was a monastery complex, and today it is one of Svaneti’s most important places of worship. On the 28th of July, Kvirikoba, the day that St. Cyricus and St. Julitta were martyred, believers come to the village of Khe from all over Georgia.


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