Bolnisi Sioni and Tsughrughasheni - Treasures of Kvemo Kartli
2632 Visit

Kvemo Kartli region is distinguished not only by historical and archaeological points of view. There are many churches and monasteries in the region that are interesting for both pilgrims and tourists interested in architecture. In this regard there are two outstanding example - Bolnisi Sioni church and Tsughrughasheni monastery.

Bolnisi Sioni  is a Georgian Orthodox basilica in the Bolnisi village of Bolnisi District, Georgia. The cathedral was built in 478–493. It is the oldest extant church building in Georgia.

Bolnisi Sioni Cathedral is known for its Georgian inscriptions. These are one of the oldest historical documents of the Georgian alphabet. This church is the first Georgian building to have a completion date on the exterior. Bolnisi Sioni’s decorative scheme was a Sasanian style. The southern and central parts of the church are adorned with curling vine scrolls, arabesques, and foliate motifs. Uniform masonry blocks were used to build on to the original building’s late antiquity remnants on the southern façade.

As for the Tsugrugasheni monastery and the church, it is just a few kilometers away from Bolnisi Sioni. It is distinguished by its location and does not leave the viewers indifferent. The church was built during the reign of Lasha-Giorgi in the 13th century. His architecture is similar to other Georgian churches built at the same time (Nikortsminda, Betania, Kvatakhevi, Fitareti), but Tsughrughasheni is smaller and has higher dome. The church is rich in Georgian traditional ornaments.

Both of the Bolnisi Sioni and the Tsughrughasheni  Church - are active and can be visited at any time of the year. Their location allows us to see both of them together with Bolnisi's other sightseeings in one day tour.