The construction began in the 10th century. The first king of united Georgia, King Bagrat III, commissioned the cathedral which stood intact for seven hundred years. Throughout the following centuries the cathedral suffered heavy damage, especially due to invasions. The conservation and restoration works started in the 1950s. In 1994, the Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as a single entity. In 2010, under the leadership of an Italian architect Andrea Bruno, Georgia launched reconstruction works in order to return the cathedral to its original state. The reconstruction caused great controversy as UNESCO considered it detrimental to the authenticity of the cathedral. Major reconstruction works were completed in 2012.