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  • Anchiskhati

In the historical district, in upper Kala, on Shavteli street the Anchiskhati basilica is located, the church dates back to the 6th century, and according to the historical sources it was constructed by Dachi Ujarmeli ( from Ujarma) and it was bearing the name of the Virgin Mary’s birth. The name Anchiskhati was given to it a little bit later, when Peter Meskhi moved the image of Christ not made by hand from the Anchi church to this one in 1675, Peter was granted the position of a pastor by the Catholicon Domenti. From this day on the Meskhishvilis were pastors of the church. The son of Peter- Alex is the founder of the calligraphers’ dynasty called the Aleximaskhishvilis.

The court church of the Catholicon –the Anhciskhati was lots of times damaged during the raids of the Iranians in 15th-17th centuries. The church was renovated in 17th century by the Catholicon Domenti, the same Catholicon constructed the wide , brick, gate-bell tower opened with lancet arch in 1975 connecting Shavteli street with the church yard. The church underwent the considerable changes in the 19th century, in this very period it was built on the dome that was changing the image of the church to a great extent. In 1958-1960 the Anchiskhati church was restored for the day of 1500 years jubilee of Tbilisi. The restoration process was carried out with the leadership of the architect R. Gverdtsiteli. The dome was removed, the floor was leveled to its previous point, and the old image was returned to the church. Anchiskhati belongs to three span basilica type churches, that is divided with the couple of abutments, the conch written in the rectangular is of horseshoe shape underlining the archaism of the church. Conchless Pastophoriums are connected with the side spans. The painting made in 1683 with the order of the Catholicon Nikoloz Amilakhvari is still remained in the altar; the rest of the paintings of the church belong to the 19th century.

The church is constructed with the yellowish tuff rectangulars, though after the restoration brick took some part in the layers of the church. The cornices are made of brick as well. The entrances are disposed on three sides, but at present the main western entrance functions only. After the restoration, the fragment of the front lintel of the southern gate, on which the ‘cross ascension’ is depicted, was used in the upper part of the western façade, on the lower part of the relief, the track of the inscription of the round handwritten is still seen, it is supposed that the inscription was dedicated to the church warden, the King Dachi.

After the soviet regime establishment in Georgia, the liturgical ceremonies in Anchiskhati church were halted. The museum of the handcraft wares was disposed in it and a little later - the art studio. The liturgical ceremonies were restored in the church since 1989.

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