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Shrines of Tbilisi

I do not know the total number of churches in Tbilisi  but I saw quite a few.Apart from the popular ones there are   some charming   old churches near the old part of the city . I used to get up early  and take  different routes invariably ending up in a church .It was surprising that not many people attend the daily service .I was hoping to see a church wedding but no luck there.Maybe this is not the  wedding season !

 

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CHURCH OF BETHLEHEM

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St.VIRGIN MARY CATHOLIC CHURCH

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SIONI CHURCH

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Though they may look similar in structure each one gives different vibes.

Tales from Georgia-Heritage Trails-Holy Trinity Cathedral

In Tbilisi many monuments and churches are lit up at night and this offers a glorious sight.From the window  I could spot this  mammoth structure bathed in golden light   and it can be seen from most parts of  Tbilisi.This is the Tsminda Sameba Cathedral-main cathedral of the Georgian Church and third tallest orthodox church in the world (first two are in Russia)  measuring  98 metres.Also the most recent addition to this land of churches .It was  consecrated in 2004.

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ENTRANCE

There are nine chapels within the cathedral.I felt like a lilliput   seeing the towering structure.Once inside it was again calming and serene.I get this feeling  whenever I am in  a church .Quite a contrast from the noisy temples especially the popular ones.I would rather go to a small temple  than spend hours among millions jostling to get inside and get  pushed out in no time.

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CHURCH BELL TOWER

There is a nice garden  around the cathedral.

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That night I was again at the window taking in the golden glow.It looked as if the dome was on fire.

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This is one place I want to come back ._DSC0337

 

 

 

Tales from Georgia-Heritage Trails

From the 6th century Jvari monastery we made our way to the 11th century Svetitiskhoveli Cathedral-very  difficult to pronounce and meaning  Life giving pillar.Our airbnb host Teolina and her friends George  and Irakli accompanied us.This is the second largest church in Georgia and is a  symbolic copy of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem .This is also supposed to be the place where Christ’s mantle is kept  .My knowledge of christanity is very limited  and I wish I had done some  research.

 

There is a narrow street leading to the site dotted with souvenir shops,fancy restaurants, vegetable vendors and pretty houses.

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There is a fort  surrounding the church.

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Though it was  a sunday the church  was not crowded.It has impressive frescoes,tombs and icons.The cathedral was the site of coronation  of the Georgian kings and also was their burial site.Only three tombs have been found so far.I could see a few ladies praying in front of the altar .I did not see pews in any of the churches in Georgia.The serene and silent atmosphere was overpowering._DSC0278

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Teolina  took me aside saying that she has something interesting to show and she asked me to look up at the  external wall.After much squinting I could see a hand with a chisel and that  is supposed to symbolise the unfortunate architect Arsukidze .The story goes like this-a priest who was the teacher and patron of the architect was  so jealous of his success that he influnced the King  to have his right arm chopped off.

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Yet another folklore like Taj Mahal  architects?