Ikorta church

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The Ikorta church of the Archangel (Georgian: იკორთის მთავარანგელოზის ტაძარი), commonly known as Ikorta (იკორთა) is a 12th-century Georgian Orthodox church located at the outskirts of the village Ikort’a in Shida Kartli region of eastern Georgia.

Commissioned by the ducal family of Ksani in the reign of King George III of Georgia in 1172, Ikort’a is the earliest in a series of the 12th-13th-century churches of Georgia that set a final canonical model of a Georgian domed church.

The Ikort’a church is a centrally planned, domed rectangular design, with a semicircular apse on the east. The dome, with 12 windows pierced round its tall base, rests upon the corners of the altar and two hexangular pillars. Walls and vaults were plastered and frescoed at the time of construction; but only some fragments of original murals survived in the apse, northern wall and the base of the dome. The façades and a lower portion of the dome are lavishly ornamented. The church was renovated in the 17th century, but the original design was largely preserved. There are two entrance portals, one to the south and one to the west. Original porches have been ruined, and the extant porch to the south is of much later period. There are a solar clock and an ancient Georgian asomtavruli inscription on the western wall.[1]

During the earthquake of 1991, a large portion of the dome collapsed, and inflicted a significant damage on the church. In 1999 the monument was listed among the "100 Most Endangered Sites" (World Monuments Fund, 2000-2001).[2] A reconstruction project is currently under progress.[3]

The Ikort’a church served as a burial ground of the dukes of Ksani, and houses, among others, the tombs of the brothers Shalva and Elizbar of Ksani, and their associate Bidzina, Prince Cholokashvili. These noblemen were tortured to death for having revolted against the Persian domination of Kakheti (eastern Georgia) in 1659, and were eventually canonized by the Georgian Orthodox church.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b (Georgian) G. Abramishvili, P. Zakaraia, I. Tsitsishvili (2000), ქართული არქიტექტურის ისტორია ("History of Georgian Architecture"), pp. 139-141.
  2. ^ Georgia: Ikorta Church of the Archangel. ICOMOS World report 2001-2002 on monuments and sites at danger. Accessed on February 9, 2008.
  3. ^ Initial Rehabilitation and Conservation Works on the Church of the Holy Archangels in Ikorta. Cultural Heritage Preservation Fund. Accessed on February 9, 2008.

Coordinates: 42°09′59″N 44°09′21″E / 42.16639°N 44.15583°E / 42.16639; 44.15583