Nikortsminda Cathedral

Nikortsminda Cathedral

Arches with luxurious carvings, frescoes with diverse stories, and a high dome reaching for the sky are among the reasons that Nikortsminda Church is recognized as a masterpiece of Georgian national architecture. Moreover, it is on the Tentative list for status of UNESCO's World Heritage. You should definitely visit this marvelous place, once you pass by in the village of Nikortsminda in the north-western Georgian region, Racha.
Racha-Lechkhumi & Kvemo Svaneti

History and Structure of Nikortsminda Cathedral

The church was built at the beginning of the 11th century in accordance with the order of Bagrat III, the first king of the united Georgia, and was consecrated in the name of St. Nicholas as evidenced by one of the inscriptions found on the facade, engraved on the western door.

The church has been preserved to this day in almost its original form, and its interior – delicately-processed stone, continuous arches, and an inner facade decorated with luxurious carvings - is considered the best example of Georgian architecture. The dome, with its 12 windows decorated with architraves, allows for an amazing view. 

The frescoes dating back to the 16th-17th centuries are diverse in the plots they depict and have a fascinating appearance. Portraits of public figures are preserved along with writings, animals, figures of saints, and scenes from church life, all with equal distinction.

In the front yard of the church, you will find a three-story belltower, which was built in the second half of the 19th century. 

Nikortsminda became an inspiration for Galaktion Tabidze, known as the king of Georgian poetry, who dedicated his poem “Praise to Nikortsminda” to the magnificence of this church.

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