Lomisi Church

ituated in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region of Georgia, the Lomisi St George Church is an awe-inspiring testament to the veneration of St George that began in the fourth century. Located in the quaint village of Mleta, the church stands majestically on the Ksani and Aragvi watershed range, approximately 2,300 meters (7,545 feet) above sea level.

The Lomisi Monastery is composed of three hall-type churches nestled side by side, each reflecting the exquisite architecture of Georgia. Adjacent to the southern side of these churches stands a two-story bell tower that hails from the late Middle Ages, surrounded by several tombs. The most well-preserved of these tombs lies to the west, boasting a door, a window, and an arched roof.

Every year, the church becomes a hub of fervor during the Lomisoba, an ancient Georgian holiday. Even though the date of the holiday is calculated in relation to Easter, the roots of the celebration predate Christianity. On Lomisoba day, locals ascend the mountain, often barefoot, bearing offerings. A 50-kilogram (110 pounds) chain housed in the church plays a significant role in this tradition. It is said that anyone who circles the church three times while praying with this chain around their neck will have their wishes fulfilled by Saint George.

Constructed in the 9th or 10th century, the Lomisi Church is a simple stone hall church. It stands 2,200 m (7,218 ft) above sea level, atop a mountain ridge overlooking the Ksani and Aragvi valleys. Measuring 14.5 × 7.8 m (47.5 × 25.6 feet), it was built with undressed stone and has two annexes to the south and the north that were added later.

Lomisi Church features prominently in local legends and folktales, one of which claims that the church was constructed to commemorate the miraculous deliverance of 7,000 Georgians from Chorasmian captivity by the intervention of the icon of Saint George, mounted on an ox named Loma, meaning 'a lion'. The church holds an ironclad oakwood door with 16th–17th-century Georgian inscriptions and an ancient iron chain believed to hold mystical properties.

Today, the Lomisi Monastery is home to several monks and still brims with spiritual energy. For those who seek tranquility and solitude, a hike up to the monastery on days other than Lomisoba is recommended. While summer is the best season for a visit, winter sports enthusiasts often make their way up the mountain during colder months.

Given its historical and cultural significance, the church is inscribed on the list of Georgia's Immovable Cultural Monuments of National Significance. The church and the vibrant festival it hosts, Lomisoba, remain testament to Georgia's rich history and cultural heritage.

Nearest to Lomisi Church

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