Pitsunda Cathedral

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
St. Andrew the Apostle Cathedral
Pitsunda cathedral.jpg
Pitsunda Cathedral is located in Georgia (country)
Pitsunda Cathedral
Shown within Georgia (country)
Basic information
Location Pitsunda, Gagra district,  Georgia/ Abkhazia [2]
Geographic coordinates 43°09′36″N 40°20′20″E / 43.159889°N 40.339°E / 43.159889; 40.339Coordinates: 43°09′36″N 40°20′20″E / 43.159889°N 40.339°E / 43.159889; 40.339
Affiliation de facto: Abkhazian Orthodox Church/
de iure: Georgian Orthodox Church[1]
Region Caucasus
District Gagra District
Status Active
Architectural description
Architectural type Triple-nave, domed cruciform plan
Architectural style Georgian; Byzantine
Funded by King Bagrat III of Georgia
Completed End of 10th century
Specifications
Length 37
Width 25
Height (max) 29
Dome(s) 1

St. Andrew the Apostle Cathedral or simply Pitsunda Cathedral (Georgian: ბიჭვინთის ტაძარი) is a Georgian Orthodox Cathedral located in Pitsunda, in the Gagra district of the de facto independent Republic of Abkhazia, internationally recognised to constitute a part of Georgia. The cathedral is currently used by the Abkhazian Orthodox Church and serves as that body's seat, although this usage is disputed by the Republic of Georgia and is considered irregular by the Eastern Orthodox communion.

Pitsunda Cathedral was built at the end of the 10th century by King Bagrat III of Georgia. It served as the seat of the Georgian Orthodox Catholicate of Abkhazia until the late 16th century when Abkhazia came under the Ottoman hegemony. According to 17th century French traveller Jean Chardin, Catholicos, who no longer lived in Pitsunda, visited the cathedral once a year with the retinue of bishops and princes to perform the sanctification of chrism.[3] The cathedral was reconsecrated in 1869 when Abkhazia was already a part of Russian Empire.[3]

It is a cross-domed cathedral with three naves and three apses, shaped as a rectangle with extending semicircular apses. The cathedral is notable for its impressive size, reaching 29 m high (including the dome), 37 m long and 25 m wide; the walls are up to 1.5 m thick. The building rests on heavy slabs of grey sandstone; the walls are made up of alternating rows of stone and brickwork, a typical technique for late Byzantine architecture. The cathedral contains vestiges of wall-painting from the 13th and the 16th centuries.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ See here: Orthodoxy in Abkhazia
  2. ^ Abkhazia's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the world's other states consider Abkhazia de jure a part of Georgia's territory. In Georgia's official subdivision it is an autonomous republic, whose government sits in exile in Tbilisi.
  3. ^ a b Акты собранные Кавказскою Археографическою Комиссиею (Acts of Caucasian Archeographic Commission), v. 5, pp. 1069-1070, cited by Экзеков, Мусса (2012). По обе стороны Большого Кавказа. Сборник документов (1-я половина XIX века). Том II. Питер. pp. 574–575. ISBN 9785459008906. 

External references[edit]