Cathedral of Saint George, Tbilisi

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Cathedral of Saint George (Gevork)
Սուրբ Գևորգ եկեղեցի
St. Kevork Armenian Apostolic Church, Tbilisi - Front view.JPG
Inside the church yard
Cathedral of Saint George, Tbilisi is located in Georgia (country)
Cathedral of Saint George, Tbilisi
Shown within Georgia (country)
Basic information
Location Tbilisi, Georgia
Geographic coordinates 41°41′21″N 44°48′32″E / 41.689242°N 44.808898°E / 41.689242; 44.808898Coordinates: 41°41′21″N 44°48′32″E / 41.689242°N 44.808898°E / 41.689242; 44.808898
Affiliation Armenian Apostolic Church
Status Seat of the Armenian archbishop of Tiflis
Architectural description
Architectural style Armenian
Completed 1251 (restored in the 17th century, 1832, and 1881)

The Cathedral of Saint George (Armenian: Սուրբ Գևորգ եկեղեցի, or Surb Gevork;[1] Georgian: სურფგევორქი) [2] is a 13th-century church in Old Tbilisi, Georgia and is the seat of the Armenian archbishop. It is dedicated to Saint George (Surp Gevork in Armenian).


It is located in the south-western corner of Vakhtang Gorgasali Square (Meidani) and is overlooked by the ruins of Narikala fortress. In front of the church is the tomb of the famous Armenian poet Sayat Nova.


The cathedral was commissioned in 1251 by a wealthy merchant named Umek of Karin (Erzerum) who settled in Tiflis in the 13th century, and married Princess Mama Vahtangian, the daughter of Hasan Jalal Vahtangian, Grand Prince of Khachen (ruled 1214-1261).[1] An inscription dates the building to 1251, and it was thoroughly restored in the 17th century, and then again in 1832 and 1881.[1]

The first recorded account about the church on this site dates to the first half of the 18th century. According to Vakhushti Bagrationi, in that time, it was a Georgian Orthodox church of Saint Nicholas. It was later garrisoned by the Persian troops, but restored to local Armenian community by King Heraclius II of Georgia in the 1770s. Currently, the cathedral is a seat of the archbishop of Armenians of Tbilisi.

By initiative of the archbishop Comitas Ter-Stepanian, that was leader of the church 1957-1972,and archpriest Vartan Tatevossian, led the burials of four Armenian generals in 1957. The bodies were transferred from the yard of the Vank Church to the St. George's Armenian Apostolic Church by order of His Holiness Vehapar Hayrabed and buried by archpriest Vartan Tatevossian. : Mikhail Tarielovich Loris-Melikov, Arshak Ter-Gukasov, Hovaness Lazarev and Beybut Shelkovnikov.[3]


The cathedral is built on a traditional plan of a partitioned, open cross with a rectangular perimeter. Like most of the churches in Tbilisi, it is built in brick.[1]


Late 18th-century painting by Hovnatan Hovantanian decorate the interior.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Thierry, Jean-Michel (1989). Armenian Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams. p. 317. ISBN 0-8109-0625-2. 
  2. ^ "All Armenian Churches". Embassy of Armenia in Washington D.C. 
  3. ^ Посохальная Книга Армянской Епархии в Грузии. Норашен (in Russian) 5 (11): p. 36. 2007. 

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