upper bethlehem

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  • Upper Bethlehem

Upper Bethlehem church is located in lower Kala, in Kldisubani. According to the legend, the first church here was constructed by the Georgian King Vakhtang Gorgasali and it was one of the distinguished churches as it symbolically resembled the church of the birth of Christ of Bethlehem. In the 15th century, the Virgin Mary church (called Petkhain) was founded on the very place by the Armenians, and in the first part of the 18th century a new church was constructed on the place. Bethlehem was the sacred place for both the Armenians and the Georgians, and the construction of the church was carried out with the sources of the both nations. For this, the great supporter and the public figure, the nobleman Givi Amilakhvari sacrificed a vast amount of sources to the construction of the church in 1740. The church was capitally repaired in 1884, the façade arrangement was renovated also, and the dome belongs to the very period as well.

After the establishment of the Soviet regime, the liturgical ceremony was canceled in the church and the workshop was disposed there. Since 1994 the church sanctified with the name of the birth of Christ belongs to the Georgian Orthodox Church. ‘Inscribed cross’ type church is erected on the plinth faced with brick, the dome is supported by the protruding of the conch and by two columns. There is one more couple of columns in the protruded western arm. The church has two entrances: western and northern. Stairs, built to the plinth were leading to the northern gate, but today the stairs are demolished and accordingly only the western gate functions at present.

On the facades of the brick church, the stone squares emerged, when the church underwent the restoration in the 19th century.

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