Mrgvali Church

Georgian civilisation dates back thousands of years, therefore Georgia is rich in historical monuments, and archaeologists constantly come across new “treasures”. One such is the Mrgvali Church, which was discovered in 1989.
Kvemo Kartli

Mrgvali Church looks out over the Mashavera Valley, from a cliff on the banks of the Mashavera River near Vardisubani Village in Kvemo Kartli Region. The ancient settlement of Dmanisi is on the other side of the river and is visible from the church. Dmanisi is the place where the hominids, who the scientific community named Homo Georgicus and recognized as the first Europeans, lived 1.8 million years ago.

Vardisubani’s Mrgvali Church was probably built in the 5th-6th centuries and is the only known example of a rotunda (a round building crowned with a dome) in medieval Georgian architecture.

The circular building is built with roughly polished grey basalt. The walls are more than one meter thick, which is evidence of the antiquity of the building. Throughout its long history, Mrgvali Church got ruined and nowadays one metre-high remnant of the wall can be seen. Near the church, archaeologists also discover the ancient burials.

Mrgvali Church is a significant monument of Georgian architecture, and, even though it is in ruins, it is still a sight worth seeing, if you are exploring the area of Dmanisi.

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