Bagrati Cathedral

Bagrati Cathedral

Bagrati Cathedral / ბაგრატის ტაძარი / Храм Баграта - 4K aerial video footage DJI Inspire 1 Bagrati Street, Kutaisi, Imereti, Georgia The city's great sight is the 11th-century Bagrati Cathedral (Kazbegi; admission free; 9am-8pm) , which you'll see high on the Ukimerioni Hill across the river from the city centre There has been a fortress here since at least the 1st century AD; now there are remains from the 5th and 6th centuries, and late medieval fortifications. Occupied by the Turks, in 1769 it was bombarded by Solomon I and the Russian General Todleben from Mtsvane Kvavila.The cathedral was commissioned by the first king of a unified Georgia, Bagrat III. An Arabic inscription (no longer visible) on the north wall gives us the exact date of completion: "When the floor was finished it was chronicon 223" (1003). The date is the oldest remaining example of Arabic numerals in Georgia. Intending to symbolize his unification of Georgia, Bagrat invested much of his personal prestige in the building of the cathedral. According to a chronicle of the time, at the cathedral's consecration, Bagrat "assembled the neighbouring rulers, the patriarchs and archbishops, the abbots of all the monasteries, and all the notables from the lower and higher parts of his realm and from all other kingdoms." Even in its present ruined state, you cannot but feel the grandeur and nobility of the structure and the sense of power and wonder that must have attended that consecration ceremony.Like the Church of Oshki (now in Turkey) with which it is frequently compared, the Cathedral of Bagrat is a triconch with protruding sidearms to form the cross. The cupola was supported by four detached octagonal columns and the drum raised high above. With the windows in the conches, a light-filled open space was created. The extended western arm was separated into three aisles and furnished with galleries for the king's family. A three-story tower was added to the left side of the west facade; this probably served as the king's quarters or as the residence of the local archbishop. Somewhat alter the completion of the cathedral, but still in the first half of the 11th century, a portico with open arches was added to the south-west side. A little later this concept was repeated in front of the entryways on the west and south sides. Only ruins of the south portico remain today. These later embellishments were marked by elaborate, deeply incised stone carving on the capital and base of the pillars, the pillared entrances, and selected door and window frames.

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