/
menu
/

David Khoshtaria

David Khoshtaria (დავით ხოშტარია) 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

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

OLD HOTELS OF TBILISI

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

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

ALAVERDI CATHEDRAL

The Cathedral of St. George at Alaverdi is located 18 km from the town of Telavi in the Alazani Valley. Standing on a plain with the Greater Caucasus Mountains in the distance, the cathedral dominates the surrounding landscape. It is visible from many neighboring towns and villages, and is one of the landmarks of the Kakheti region.

21/04/2024

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.”

21/04/2024

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.”

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

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.

21/04/2024

KVATAKHEVI MONASTERY

Kvatakhevi Monastery is located in the province of Shida Kartli, deep in the Kavtura River Gorge, far from any towns or villages. The monastic buildings occupy a plot of land that lies between forest covered mountains.

21/04/2024

THE SIONI CHURCH AT ATENI

Ateni is located in Shida Kartli province, 15 km from the town of Gori. The church known as Sioni (i. e. Zion) stands on a giant artificial platform constructed atop a cliff at a bend in the Tana River gorge.

21/04/2024

PUSHKIN STREET Nº 3

Pushkin Street house Nº 3 stands on Freedom Square, near the historic Kojori Gate, from where the nineteenth-century development of Tbilisi’s Garetubani District began.

21/04/2024

MGHVIMEVI

The Church of the Savior of Mghvimevi, which dates from the 1270s, stands on a steep cliff face high above the road in a suburb of the city of Chiatura in Imereti. It is built in front of a natural cave, and is partly sheltered by a large overhanging steep ledge of rock (the name of the place derives from Mghvime, which means cave in Georgian). The site was artificially widened by means of a high platform built up against the rock.

21/04/2024

TSROMI

The church in Tsromi is one of the most important early medieval buildings in Georgia, from both architectural and historical points of view. According to tradition, the church was erected at the place where St. Razhden the Protomartyr, a fifth-century Iranian convert to Christianity, was executed.

21/04/2024

THE GREAT MOSQUE OF TBILISI

Tbilisi’s Muslim population appeared after the conquest of the city by Arabs in the early eighth century. Several mosques were erected in Tbilisi during the Middle Ages. The largest among them was the Shi’a mosque that stood on the right bank of the Mtkvari, close to the river. According to oral tradition, it was built by Shah Ismail I of Iran, who invaded Georgia and occupied Tbilisi from 1522 to 1524.

21/04/2024

GURJAANI CHURCH OF THE MOTHER OF GOD

The Gurjaani Kvelatsminda Church of the Dormition of the Mother of God, which is located near the town of Gurjaani in Kakheti, is one of the most remarkable medieval buildings in Georgia. It was built in the eighth century, during the age of Arab rule and the formation of new Georgian states, when church architecture underwent considerable transformation. This complex process of change is referred to as a transitional period in the development of Georgian architecture.

21/04/2024

CHURCH OF ST. GEORGE AT DABA

The Church of St. George stands in a thick forest on the edge of Daba village in the historic province of Tori, which has also been referred to as Borjomi Gorge since the nineteenth century. The church is built right up against a steep cliff, and its southern wall is nestled in the concavity of the rock.

21/04/2024

TSUGHRUGHASHENI

Tsughrughasheni Church is situated 2 kilometres from Bolnisi Sioni Cathedral, on the right bank of the Bolnisitskali River in Kvemo Kartli Province. Standing on a slightly sloping hillside, the church is visible from afar and dominates the surrounding landscape.

21/04/2024

MANGLISI CATHEDRAL

Manglisi is one of the oldest Christian sites in Eastern Georgia. The first church was built at the location in the fourth century, soon after the Kingdom of Iberia had officially adopted Christianity as the state religion in around 330. As the Georgian compendium The Conversion of Kartli reports, King Mirian asked Constantine the Great to send priests in order to perform baptismal rites, and master builders for the erection of churches in his kingdom. The emperor fulfilled the request and sent Bishop John, who brought the suppedaneum (foot rest) and nails from the True Cross to Georgia. According to Georgian chronicles, Manglisi was the location Bishop John selected for the building of a church that would house the holy relics he had brought from Constantinople.

21/04/2024

SAPARA MONASTERY

Sapara Monastery occupies a picturesque location on steep terrain in the mountains of Samtskhe Province, about 10 km south-east of Akhaltsikhe.

21/04/2024

ERTATSMINDA

The Church of St. Eustace stands in the middle of the village of Ertatsminda, within a large courtyard that is encircled by a stone wall. The toponym Ertatsminda derives from Estatetsminda, which in Georgian means St. Eustace.

21/04/2024

KOROGO CHURCH

The Church of the Mother of God is situated in Khada Gorge, East Georgia, in a breathtakingly beautiful location near the remote mountain village of Korogo. It was built in the late tenth century, and in the turbulent late Middle Ages it was surrounded with defensive towers and other structures.

21/04/2024

TSALENJIKHA CHURCH

The Church of the Savior is located near the town of Tsalenjikha in the historic province of Samegrelo. It stands in the middle of a vast courtyard that is surrounded by an enclosing wall.

21/04/2024

THE GREAT SYNAGOGUE OF TBILISI

The presence of a Jewish diaspora in Georgia has been attested since ancient times. In late antiquity, a significant Jewish community existed in Mtskheta, where they established a synagogue. In the Middle Ages, Jewish populations resided in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Akhaltsikhe, Tskhinvali, and many other towns and cities.

21/04/2024

PUDZNARI CHURCH

Pudznari Church of the Mother of God is located near the village of Bodavi, in the gorge of the River Bodaviskhevi, the left tributary of the Aragvi River. It stands on a flat location at the bottom of a hill, in the center of an enclosed courtyard.

21/04/2024

THE CHURCH OF MOTHER OF GOD IN METEKHI (KARTLI)

The Church of the Mother of God is located in the village of Metekhi, in Kartli Province. Legend attributes its foundation to the fifth-century Georgian king Vakhtang Gorgasali, although there is no archaeological or architectural evidence to support such an early date. The extant church was built in the first half of the thirteenth century and restored several times in the late Middle Ages and Modern times.

AUTHORS AT ATINATI