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Cultural

Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery (1994)- The construction of Bagrati Cathedral, named after Bagrat III, the first king of united Georgia, started at the end of the 10th century and was completed in the early years of the 11th century. Although partly destroyed by the Turks in 1691, its ruins still lie in the centre of Kutaisi. The Gelati Monastery, whose main buildings were erected between the 12th and 17th centuries, is a well-preserved complex, with wonderful mosaics and wall paintings. The cathedral and monastery represent the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia.

Historical Monuments of Mtskheta (1994)- The historic churches of Mtskheta, former capital of Georgia, are outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture in the Caucasus. They show the high artistic and cultural level attained by this ancient kingdom.

Upper Svaneti (1996)- Preserved by its long isolation, the Upper Svaneti region of the Caucasus is an exceptional example of mountain scenery with medieval-type villages and tower-houses. The village of Chazhashi still has more than 200 of these very unusual houses, which were used both as dwellings and as defence posts against the invaders who plagued the region.

Properties submitted on the Tentative List 

Alaverdi Cathedral (2007)- Alaverdi St. George Cathedral (first half of the 11th century) is located 18 km from the town of Telavi in the Alazani-River valley. Earliest structures of Alaverdi Monastery date back to 6th century. The present day Cathedral is part of an 11th century Georgian Orthodox monastery. The Monastery was founded by the monk Joseph [Abba] Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and settled in Alaverdi, then a small village and the former pagan religious centre dedicated to Moon. At the beginning of 11th century, Kakhetian King Kvirike the Great built a cathedral in the place of a small church of St. George.

Alaverdi is the highest cathedral in Georgia (up to 50 meters). It dominates the surrounding landscape in a fertile river valley against the backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains. It is a cross with three apses inscribed in a rectangle. In the western part of the building, there are galleries on the second tier of the side naves. The interior of the cathedral is extremely imposing. Outside the Cathedral is devoid of embellishments, and the facades have monumental blind arcades and niches for decoration, which give the entire structure an air of monumentality and solemnity. The walls are of fieldstone faced with hewn slabs of shirimi water tuff, now badly weathered.  An area enclosed by a fortified wall contains dwelling houses, the refectory of the monastery, wine cellars, baths, and other structures.

The characteristic features of the Kakhetian architecture with its upward aspiring tendency were reflected in Alaverdi. The decor is totally neglected. An impressive space of the interior of this church has no analogy in Georgia.

Satements of authenticity and/or integrity

Alaverdi Cathedral was in use since construction began and has been a subject of several modifications: restoration (part of the walls and the entire dome with the drum) in 15th and in 18th centuries; in the 19th century, the church lost its chapels on the north and south sides. However, its overall authenticity and integrity is preserved.

Comparison with other similar properties

Medieval Georgian Architecture is strictly distinctive cultural phenomenon. In the view of State Party, it is therefore unreasonable to apply comparative regional analysis to this monument.

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Ananuri (2007)- The Ananuri fortified ensemble (architect K. Bakhsarashvili), dating from the 17th century, is located on the left bank of the Aragvi River, along the famous original Georgian Military Highway, 66km from Tbilisi. It incorporates a circuit wall with turrets, a porch, a Church of Virgin, a minor Church of Gvtaeba, a tower with a stepped pyramidal roof of Svanetian type, a single-nave Church Mkurnali, tower Sheupovari, a bell-tower, a spring and a reservoir. In the Church of the Virgin are buried some of the Eristavis (dukes) of Aragvi. The Church of the Assumption, built in 1689, has richly decorated facades with the fine relief carvings featuring human, animal and floral images, including a carved north entrance. It also contains the remains of a number of beautiful frescoes.

The wall paintings executed between the 17th and the 18th centuries contain the depiction of Thirteen Assyrian Fathers (prominent ecclesiastical figures), which represent a convincible evidence for the study of the iconography of these figures.

Satements of authenticity and/or integrity

The authenticity of monument is preserved in architectural forms, materials, location and other necessary attributes. However, the visual perception of the ensemble has been changed following the construction of the Zhinvali reservoir in the vicinity of Ananuri.

The physical condition of buildings can be characterised as good. The wall painting needs conservation.

Comparison with other similar properties

In the view of State Party, it is unreasonable to apply comparative regional analysis to this monument.

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Colchis Wetlands and Forests (2007)- Area of Colchis wetlands and forests is c. 74 826 ha. Due to its uniqueness, Colchis wetlands ecosystems were given a status of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1997.

This area is one of the last remains of the landscape belt, rich in tropical and sub-tropical habitats, which existed some ten million years ago and stretched as an almost unbroken line over the vast Eurasian continent. This is the unique territory with its biodiversity, wetlands and forest ecosystems variety, high endemism, richness in relics of the tertiary period and especial objects of geological and palaeontological importance.

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David Gareji Monasteries and Hermitage (2007)- David Gareji is located in Eastern Georgia, 25 km from Tbilisi, on Iori plateau near the border of Georgia and Azerbaijan. It includes the complex of 19 Medieval monasteries with approximately 5 000 cells for monks.

David Gareji is one of the most important landmarks of Georgia. This site is characterised by a unique combination of historic architecture, prehistoric archaeological sites, rich palaeonthological fields and important bio-geographical features widely spread within the arid and semiarid landscape of the river Iori plateau. The dozens of cave monasteries decorated with unique frescoes are the best examples of harmonious interaction of man made structures with the dramatic landscape. They bear the traditional principles of sustainable living and are considered as the masterpieces of Georgian Medieval art.

Dmanisi Hominid Archaeological Site (2007)- Dmanisi is located about 85 km south-west of Tbilisi buried below the ruins of the medieval town of Dmanisi, in the Mashavera River Valley, which drains the Javakheti volcanic chain to the west of the site. The site is situated on a promontory elevated about 80 m above the confluence of the Mashavera and Pinezaouri River valleys. Just prior to the occupations at Dmanisi, the Mashavera Valley was filled by 80-100 m of mafic lavas that formed the Mashavera Basalt. This basalt dammed the Pinezaouri Valley, forming a lake ca. 1 km long immediately south of the site.

  • Gremi Church of Archangels and Royal Tower (2007)- City of Gremi, capital of vanished Kachetian Kingdom of Georgia, located on the Gilian-Shemakha branch of the Great Silk Road, was destroyed by the army of Shah Abbas in XVI c. and never been restored since then. The ruins of Gremi city are now important Late Medieval archaeological site with ruins of churches, trading arcades, baths and dwellings. Gremi attracts visitors with the well-preserved architectural complex: Church of Archangels Michael and Gabriel and the Royal Tower.
  • Kvetera Church (2007)- The Church in Kvetera is erected on the top of a hill within the structure of the 10th century Kvetera Fortress. The Church of Kvetera Fortress is a very interesting composition, light, refined and exquisite. It is a tetraconch in plan (four-apse cross with four niches between apses) and is built of carefully hewn local tuffa stoneshirimi. The central square of the church, crowned with the dome is intersected crosswise once on the naves of the cross and then bias by its three-quarter niches. We have in result as though a star with rays of different length. There are the chancel-bays in front of each apse. On the corners of each nave, there are three semi-columns. 
  • Mta-Tusheti (2007)- Mta-Tusheti, a small historic geographic region in Eastern Georgia located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, covers the area of approximately 796 sq. km. It is one of the most ecologically unspoiled regions in Caucasus. Mta-Tusheti vernacular architecture in general and fortress-like residential buildings in particular represents special interest in terms of their unique and distinctive architectural forms. This region is remarkable for the extraordinary beauty of its alpine landscapes and represents greatest importance as a habitat of numerous rare and endemic animal and vegetative species.
  • Nicortsminda Cathedral (2007)- The Cathedral is interesting because of its plan: it is inscribed within a hexagonal whose sides, with the exception of the West one, are flanked by the apses; from the outside, it is cruciform. The chapels were added later, but also in the 11th century. Cathedral is generously decorated with rich ornamental relief depicting Transfiguration, Doomsday and other evangelic subjects, figures of the Saints, and of real and fantastic beasts. Nicortsminda lapidary decoration testifies to the superb skill of the craftsmen and the artistic standards, which make this Cathedral one of the most outstanding examples of Georgian architecture.
  • Samtavisi Cathedral (2007)- Samtavisi domed Cathedral, built in 1030 by architect Hillarion Samtavneli, is remarkable due to the beauty of proportions and refinement of carving on the façades. The Cathedral has been repaired repeatedly. In the 15th century, the dome and the western wall were built anew. Within the enclosed area of the Cathedral, there are the remains of a dwelling, the so-called bishop’s palace. At the entry to the enclosure stands a gate belfry of the late feudal period.
  • Shatili (2007)- Located in the deep Arghuni gorge at approximately 1,400 meters, the village is actually a unique complex of medieval-to-early modern fortresses and fortified dwellings of stone and mortar, which functioned both as a residential area and as a fortress guarding the north-eastern outskirts of the country. The fortress consists of the terraced structures dominated by flat-roofed dwellings and some 60 towers which cluster together to create a single chain of fortifications.
  • Tbilisi Historic District (2007)- Tbilisi is a grand sample of Georgian urban heritage, in which an interesting process of adoption of foreign influences penetrating in the course of the centuries, their creative transformation and adaptation to the traditional Georgian dwelling and its planning structure is still alive. Major factor determining a character of the original national culture – geo-political location of Georgia on the cross-roads of Europe and Asia with all consequent historical conditions – had drastically affected Tbilisi, fifteen century old capital of the country, being reflected in its unique artistic and architectural integrity.
  • Uplistsikhe Cave Town (2007)- Uplistsikhe Cave Town-Fortress is situated on a rocky massif in 15 km eastwards to town Gori on the left bank of the river Mtkvari. The fortress is mentioned in chronicles from earliest times. Its history begins in the I-II millennium B.C. Uplistsikhe was an important religious, political and cultural centre in the Hellenistic and the late Antique periods (IV c. B.C. – IV c. A.D.).  The town was in its heyday as far back as the 9th – 11th centuries. In 13th century, it was ravaged by Mongols.
  • Vani (2007)- Vani (7th -1st centuries BC) is an ancient temple city in the Colchis Lowlands located on the western bank of the Sulori River at its confluence with the Rioni River. It is located on a hill bordered by two ravines and overlooks the plains through which the Rioni River flows. There are beguiling views of the Sulori River Valley with its surrounding hills and the Meskhetian Mountain Range in the background. Ancient Colchians chose this strategic location as the political, economic and spiritual centre of their community. The name of this ancient city is still unknown but four distinct stages of uninterrupted occupation have been identified.
  • Vardzia-Khertvisi (2007)- Vardzia-Khertvisi, comprising a vast territory in the upper reaches of the river Mtkvari basin, and spread over 18 km from Khertvisi (Medieval residence) to Vardzia (12th-13th cc. rock-cut monastery) is significant in many respects: unique natural conditions contributing to the specific microclimate and landscape, historical context and diversity of cultural heritage.

 


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