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David Khoshtaria

David Khoshtaria is Head of the Medieval Department at the George Chubinashvili National Research Center. David Khoshtaria is an Invited Professor in the History of Architecture at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts. His research interests cover various aspects of Medieval and early Modern Georgian architecture. He is the author of Churches and Monasteries in Klarjeti (2006, 2nd edition 2009), Old Hotels of Tbilisi (2012), and co-author of Masons in Medieval Georgia (2012, Japanese edition 2020). He is also involved in various cultural heritage management and preservation projects. At present he is leading a project on conservation of the masonry at Jvari Church in Mtskheta. 

Articles

17/08/2022

MEDIEVAL CHURCH ARCHITECTURE IN GEORGIA

The Christian architecture in Georgia begins around 330, when Christianity became the state religion. The newly converted King Mirian built the first church in the royal garden in Mtskheta, the ancient capital of East Georgian kingdom, on the site believed to be the burial place of the Christ's chiton. Emperor Constantine, willing to promote King Mirian's building activity, sent architects and masons to Georgia. Chronicles say that "the Greeks" built four churches in different regions of the country, but Constantinopolitan builders did not exert essential influence on the further development of Georgian church architecture.

17/08/2022

CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS NEAR MTSKHETA (JVARI CHURCH)

After the conversion of Iberia (east Georgia) around 330, St Nino, the illuminatrix of Georgia, erected a large wooden cross on the mountaintop near Mtskheta, which drew a lot of worshippers. Chroniclers mention it as an important pilgrimage site and one of the most sacred places in the Caucasus. Between 545 and 586, a small church, the so-called Minor Church of the Holy Cross, was built next to the cross. The Major church that covered the wooden cross was constructed between 586 and 605. It is a tetraconch, i. e. a domed building with four apses arranged in the cardinal directions. Between the apses there are additional chambers in all four corners, which communicate with the central space by means of 3/4 circular niches. The transition from the central square bay to the octagonal drum and further to the circle of the dome is effected through three rows of squinches.

17/08/2022

SVETITSKHOVELI

The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta is Georgia’s most famous landmark. According to Georgian tradition, it stands on the burial site of the Christ's chiton.

17/08/2022

TBILISI OPERA HOUSE

The first opera performances in Tbilisi were staged in the mid-nineteenth century. The present building of Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre was constructed from 1880 to 1896 by Viktor Schroeter, a prolific architect from St-Petersbourg who worked in many cities of the Russian Empire.

17/08/2022

OLD HOTELS OF TBILISI

History of Tbilisi hotels is one of the bridges that link Georgian history with European history.

17/08/2022

RABAT FORTRESS IN AKHALTSIKHE

Akhaltsikhe is one of the oldest Georgian cities, being known from written sources since the twelfth century. As an important military stronghold and regional political centre, it always attracted the attention of neighboring powers that aimed to dominate over the South Caucasus region. In the 1570s, Akhaltsikhe was conquered and remained under Ottoman rule until 1828, when the city was captured by the Russian Empire.

17/08/2022

ZEDAZENI MONASTERY

Zedazeni is one of the oldest Georgian monasteries. Its history dates back to 510s, when St. John of Zedazeni (Ioane Zedazneli in Georgian), the leader of the group of monks known as “thirteen Syrian Fathers,” secluded himself on the summit of Mount Zeda Zadeni.

17/08/2022

BOLNISI SIONI

In the later half of the fifth century, the king of Iberia (east Georgia) Vakhtang Gorgasal established a number of new dioceses and built cathedrals in their centres. One of the most important among them is the Sioni (Zion) Cathedral at Bolnisi.

17/08/2022

GONIO FORTRESS

In ancient times, a large fortress known as Apsaros was located in the modern village of Gonio, and served as one of the most important Roman strongholds in the Eastern Black Sea region. Although the exact date of its foundation is unknown, it is believed to have been built in the first century AD, and restored in the fourth and sixth centuries.

17/08/2022

THE ROYAL PALACE OF GEGUTI

Near the village of Geguti, 7 km south of Kutaisi, where the Rioni Valley opens into a wide plain, stands a large ruined palace that once belonged to the Georgian monarchy. It has been supposed that the palace was built on the remains of a Roman castellum, which can be identified as being that of Mocheresis mentioned by ancient authors.

17/08/2022

WRITER'S HOUSE IN TBILISI

The house number thirteen on Machabeli Street in Tbilisi is distinguished both for its history and architecture. It belonged to the famous Georgian brandy producer David Sarajishvili, known not only for his prosperous entrepreneurship, but also for his charitable activity.

17/08/2022

SHIOMGHVIME MONASTERY

Shiomghvime Monastery is set among the mountains in a picturesque ravine, 10 km west of Mtskheta. Its history dates back to the mid-sixth century when St. Shio, from the group of monks known as the “thirteen Syrian Fathers,” settled here.

17/08/2022

SAMTAVISI CATHEDRAL

Samtavisi Cathedral is located in Shida Kartli region (central Georgia), on the eastern bank of the Rekhula River. The first church on this site was founded in the 570s by Isidore, a monk from the group of so-called “Thirteen Syrian Fathers.”

17/08/2022

UPLISTSIKHE

The rock-hewn town of Uplistsikhe, which is located in Shida Kartli region on the higher left bank of the Kura River near Gori, is one of Georgia’s most remarkable landmarks. It was an important urban centre during Antiquity and the Middle Ages. The name Uplistsikhe means “Fortress of God.”

17/08/2022

MARJANISHVILI THEATRE

Building number eight on Marjanishvili Street in Tbilisi, which presently houses the Kote Marjanishvili State Academic Drama Theatre, was constructed between 1902 and 1907 according to the design of architect Stephan Krichinski, and under the supervision of architect Alexandr Rogoiski.

17/08/2022

ANANURI CASTLE

Ananuri is a picturesque castle located in the Aragvi Gorge. Looking out over the foothills to the plain beyond, the castle is a notable landmark along the historic road that connects Georgia to the North Caucasus.

17/08/2022

THE FORTRESS AT PETRA (TSIKHISDZIRI)

Having existed since early antiquity as a small settlement and converted by Romans into a fort around AD 300, Petra became a city thanks to the efforts of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, who in the early 530s enclosed it within a strong defensive wall and constructed new buildings at the site.

17/08/2022

BODBE

The Monastery of St. Nino at Bodbe is located in Kakheti region, 2 km from the town of Sighnaghi. The history of the site goes back to the early Christian period. According to Georgian tradition, Bodbe is the burial place of St Nino, the Enlightener of Georgia.

17/08/2022

NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN OF GEORGIA

The National Botanical Garden of Georgia is located in the gorge of the Tsavkisis-Tskali River (a tributary of the Kura River), near the old district of Tbilisi. To the north, the Garden is bordered by a mountain ridge surmounted by the Medieval fortress, Narikala.

17/08/2022

GREMI

Gremi is the former capital of the Kingdom of Kakheti. Its archaeological site includes a citadel, royal quarter, and trade district. The Church of the Archangels in the citadel was built by King Levan in 1565. It is one of the best examples of the sixteenth-century Georgian architecture

17/08/2022

ANCHISKHATI BASILICA

The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, which is located in Zemo (Upper) Kala District and known as Anchiskhati, is the oldest preserved church in Tbilisi. Its plan, architectural design, and building technique suggest a date in the early Christian period.

17/08/2022

IVANE JAVAKHISHVILI TBILISI STATE UNIVERSITY

The main building of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University has a particular significance for the city from architectural, urban, and historical points of view. The building was designed by architect Simon Kldiashvili. Financed entirely by donations from Georgian society, construction began in 1900 and was mostly completed by 1906.

17/08/2022

MARTQOPI MONASTERY

Martqopi Monastery is located about 25 km east of Tbilisi. Its history goes back to the mid-sixth century when St. Anton, one from the group of monks known as the “thirteen Syrian Fathers,” settled here.

17/08/2022

GREEN MONASTERY IN CHITAKHEVI

Chitakhevi Monastery, which is popularly known as the Green Monastery, is located in a peaceful picturesque ravine about 15 km from the spa town of Borjomi.

AUTHORS AT ATINATI