Jvaris Mama Church

Nestled within the historic district of Old Tbilisi is the Jvaris Mama, or St. Cross Church, a monument echoing centuries of Georgian faith and resilience. Originally constructed in the second half of the 5th century, it mirrors the architectural aesthetics of the Lord's tomb on Golgotha and has been a formidable counterpart to Georgian churches in Jerusalem over the years.

Tracing back to the times of King Vakhtang Gorgasali, the founder of Tbilisi, the site was initially home to the "Golgotha" church, serving nuns from Jerusalem, including the Holy Cross (or "Jvari" in Georgian) nunnery. This revered educational and cultural hub thrived with the support of the Jvaris Mama parish. Despite the original church's destruction by Timur’s army in the 14th century, the spirit of resilience led to the current edifice's construction in the 16th century.

Positioned adjacent to Norashen and Sioni (Zion) churches, this modestly decorated structure with brick-carved crosses was revitalized in the 19th century by Abbot Benedict, a Bethlehem episcopate in Palestine. Its journey through time saw its transformation into a book warehouse during the Soviet regime and, in 1983, a thorough reconstruction of its surroundings that led to the removal of adjacent residences and taverns. After lying dormant for years, the church resumed operations in 1989.

Today, visitors can find this significant relic of Georgia's religious history at 41 Kote Abkhazi Street. Its formerly vibrant frescoes, painted white during the Soviet period, whisper tales of the past, making Jvaris Mama an intriguing stop for those seeking a deeper understanding of Tbilisi's history and spiritual heritage.

Nearest to Jvaris Mama Church

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