Metekhi Church

Virgin Mary Metekhi church is located on the left bank of the river Mtkvari, on the cliff plateau , the first church on this place was probably built by Vakhtang Gorgasali symbolically resembling the church built on virgin Mary’s tomb in Gethsemane garden in Jerusalem. According to the legend the former catholicos Kirion transferred the body of the saint Shushanik to this church in 7th century.

A lot of historical facts are linked with Metekhi church: Queen Tamar prayed here before the Shamkori battle in 1195, this church previously located on this place was burnt when the town castle head burnt Isani in 1235. Later it was restored by the King Demeter II. Then it was again damaged by the thunder storm and was repaired by the Muslim King Shakhnavaz who used it for storing the gun powder and the church kept this function even in 1690 when Erekle the I Nazaralikhani conveyed this church to Persians together with the castle. The church was renovated by the will and the desire of Erekle the II and the liturgy was restored between 1748 and 1753.

Metekhi Church together with other cult buildings was sacrificed to the attack of Agha Makhmad Khan in 1795. It was restored in 1780-1800 by the will of Giorgi the XII; the building underwent the considerable changes in 19th century.

‘Jvari’ (cross) type churches repeat the old plan and are distinguished by its unusual construction. The Dome sets on four columns on the east façade. The building is neighbored by the gate in the north and by the open dome in the east; the entrance gate is even in the west. Stone and brick invoice change each other on the façade of the multi restored–renovated church. At first it was built with hewn stones but after the restoration the brick was utilized to make arch dome. The eastern conch has kept its previous face: The three windows on the central protuberance are decorated with ornamental crosses and rhombs.

The dome of the 17th century is simple and its apertures are located in the brick arch.

The castle existed with the church was destroyed in 1810-1820 and dungeons were built on its place. In 1933 the dungeon was destroyed and the nearby territory of the church was cleaned. The club was functioning in the church during the Soviet regime; later the museum fund was disposed in there. The theater found its shelter in the church in 1970. The church has been functioning since 1988.