ANTIOCH CHURCH

Antioch church of Mtskheta

Church of St. Stephen the Martyr (Church of Antioch), (Region of Mtskheta-Mtianeti)

The Church of St. Stephen the Martyr (Church of Antioch), built in the 5th century on the holy place of the baptism of Georgians, at the confluence of the Kura and Aragvi rivers, is one of the oldest in Mtskheta. The Greek inscription on the stone at the threshold of the church (the stone slab is kept in the Archaeological Museum of Mtskheta) informs  that the architect of the temple was the Greek master Averlios Akolios. Since the founding of the church, it has changed a lot. consists of buildings of different times: the hall church, transformed into its modern form from the northern nave of the old three-aisled basilica, the entrance gate and the defensive gate tower.

In the VIII century, during the invasion of the Arabs in Georgia, the temple was burned. In the XV-XVIII centuries, it was overhauled. At this time, the original appearance of the church has almost completely changed. Presumably at the same time, the gate was also built, and the second floor of the gate should have been built later, in the 16th-18th centuries. The three walls and gates of the church are built from well-smoothed sandstone blocks, while the late southern wall of the church and the defensive tower are made of rubble, cobblestones and bricks. Currently operating convent named after St. Stephen. Several nuns conduct Christian activities here and prayers are offered every Sunday.

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