Samtavisi

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Samtavisi

 

a church 30 km east of Gori, Georgian SSR. It was constructed in 1030 by the architect Illarion Samtavneli; the drum and western wall were renovated at the end of the 15th century. The church is a domed cruciform structure. In comparison with other 11th-century Georgian structures, its layout is much less elongate, being nearly square, which lends a certain compactness to the architectural space and accentuates the dynamic upward thrust of the building. The eastern facade of the church shows the first use of ornamentation in Georgian architecture and is rich in detail. In addition to the arcature and traditional niches along the sides of the apse, the center of the facade is embellished with a large ornamented cross, a carved platband on the main window, and decorative squares beneath the window. The ornamentation heightens the splendor and enriches the rhythm of the facade, creating complementary light and shadow effects. The interior of the church contains the remains of a 17th-century mural.

REFERENCES

Severov, N. P. Pamiatniki gruzinskogo zodchestva. Moscow, 1947.
Pamiatniki arkhitektury Gruzii. Leningrad [1973].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.