The Anchiskhati Basilica
The Anchiskhati Basilica of St Mary is the oldest surviving church in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was founded in the 6th century and follows the Georgian Orthodox Church.
The church is said to be founded by the King Dachi of Iberia, who had made Tbilisi his capital. It was initially dedicated to Virgin Mary, but in 1675 it was renamed renamed Anchiskhati, which means icon of Ancha, after the treasured icon of the Savior created by the goldsmith Beka Opizari at the Ancha monastery in Klarjeti, was moved to Tbilisi to preserve it from an Ottoman invasion. The icon was kept at the Basilica of St Mary for centuries (it is now displayed at the Art Museum of Georgia).
The church was destroyed and restored for several times from the 15th through 17th centuries because of to wars between Georgia and the Persians and Turks.
The appearance of the bulding was considerably changed in the 1870s, when a dome was added. During the Soviet occupation of Georgia, all religious ceremonies at Anchiskhati Basilica were stopped, and the church transformed into a museum for handicrafts. From 1958 to 1964 the building was restored in celebration of the 1500th Jubilee of the founding of Tbilisi, which changed the look of the church back to the seventeenth-century style. In 1991, after Georgia regained independence, the church reverted to religious use.
Points of Interest
Mose Toidze House Museum Georgian National Museum Giorgi Leonidze Museum of Literature Museum of Fine Arts Museum of Georgian Folk Architecture Museum of Songs and Musical Instruments Museum of Soviet Occupation Simon Janashia Museum State Silk Museum
Anchiskhati Basilica Betania monastery Church of the Red Gospel David Gareja Monastery Gergeti Trinity Church Jvari Monastery Kashveti Church Lower Bethlehem Metekhi Temple Sameba Sioni Cathedral St Davit Ahgmashenebeli Church