Lamaria (Ushguli Mother of God Church)

Lamaria (Ushguli Mother of God Church)

Ushguli community in Svaneti Region is a truly captivating place; a place steeped in history, culture, unique architecture, and beautiful landscapes. In this community, north of Zhibiani Village, you’ll see one of Svaneti’s most important and impressive sights - Lamaria - also known as the Ushguli Mother of God Church. Standing atop a high hill, this small but proud church has a big historical significance.
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

History of Ushguli Mother of God Church

Lamaria is a basilica-type structure with a prominent tower and protective fence around it that dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries. 

Lamaria’s immense cultural and historical value is also reflected in its paintings. Researchers have discovered that only the iconostasis was painted at the time of the church’s construction, with the narrative paintings in its interior being added at a later date.

The Frescos of Ushguli Mother of God Church

The frescoes of Lamaria are executed in a style characteristic of Svan painting, but the faces are particularly expressive. Here we can find the traditional Svan depiction of the Deesis as well as scenes of the birth of Christ and the Transfiguration.

One especially intriguing detail of the monument are the messages scratched into the walls by worshippers asking for mercy. These pleas are in asomtavruli, nuskhuri, transitional mkhedruli, and mkhedruli scripts of the Georgian language.

On the 28th of August each year, visitors to Ushguli witness the special holiday of the Dormition of the Mother of God, or, as they call it in Ushguli, Lamarioba. During this holiday, the parish goes to the church to worship. All of Georgia celebrates this day.


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