Zhabeshi Church

Zhabeshi Church

In Svaneti, one of Georgia’s most beautiful regions, you will encounter many ancient churches, a number of which are more than 1,000 years old, such as the Zhabeshi Church of the Saviour, which dates back to the 10th-11th centuries.
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti

The Architecture of Zhabeshi Church

The hall-type church, made from hewn travertine, stands on a raised hill at the edge of Zhabeshi Village, in the Mulakhi Community of the Mestia Municipality. The church, elongated along its east-west axis, draws the eye with its harmonious proportions. In its interior, you will see a wooden cross set atop a rectangular pedestal made of stone, in front of the stone iconostasis. The altar is set into two niches in the wall, and the entrance is hidden.

The Historical Past of Zhabeshi Church

According to the Georgian historian, Ekvtime Takaishvili, a gilded silver icon of St. George, a wooden candle holder, a bell, a leather-bound gospel, and more were once kept in Zhabeshi Church, but today you will see only a small, silver, ritual spoon and two small, gold-plated, silver trays. In the centre of one of the trays is an engraving of the crucifixion, while the second shows an engraving of the Virgin Mary in the orans (protector) position.

The 12th-century fresco artwork has barely survived those long, long centuries, but even now you can feel the noble spirit of Georgia during Queen Tamar’s reign in this church.

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