saint john the theologian russian church

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  • Saint john the theologian Russian church

St. John the Theologian Russian Church is located at the end of L. Kiacheli Street, a few meters far from the Blue Monastery. It was constructed with the order of the governor-general Golicin in 1898-1901. According to the saying, the St. John The theologian main temple (founded in the 7th century) was constructed on the very place.

The church belonged to Mtskheta-Tbilisi eparchy, though the liturgical ceremonies were conducted in Russian. Nowadays the liturgical ceremonies are conducted in Georgian. The brick church is whitewashed from outside, (the whitewashing tradition in Russia dates back to 18th century). The church has four entrances that are symmetrically disposed on east and west sides of the southern and northern walls, and the western door functions only.

The interior is simple, here the white and light blue plaster replace each other, enabling the arches, spherical dome and conch to be marked out. The golden iconostasis, erected in front t of the altar is perceived as a colorful spot. The wooden (choir) gallery is arranged on the east side of the northern arm to which the stone stairs, (fixed in the thickness of the wall) are directed. The space is concentrated under a wide spherical dome supported by the protruding of the conch and the northern and southern walls. The facades are divided by lancet arches, circles (made by the brick arrangement), slim columns, and semi columns. The ever changing shapes and the richness of the details, make the church differently perceivable from various sides and gives birth to a dynamic rhythm. The church is decorated with the central and four false domes that are supported by the narrow barrels.

The high bell tower, crowned with conical roof and ‘onion type head’ is built on the western arm of the church. The piece of Christ’s tomb, sacrificed by the general-lieutenant Leonid Teliakov is kept in the St. John the theologian church.

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