Gergeti Trinity Church (Region of Mtskheta-Mtianeti)
Gergeti Trinity Church is a popular name for Holy Trinity Church near the village of Gergeti, up from Stepantsminda (Kazbegi) settlement. The church is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri (the left tributary of the river Terek), at an elevation of 2170 meters, under Mount Mkinvartsveri (often called Kazbegi). By its fusion with the landscape and attractive composition, cathedral is the outstanding specimen of the Georgian religious architecture. It is placed on the summit of a high mountain in a way that can be easily read from river Terek gorge. Ghergheti Sameba is the most important house of worship for the residents of the gorge province and the only dome church in the mountain areas of eastern Georgia.
Complex was built on the order of king of Georgia, Giorgi V , at time when he enacted a special Collection of Laws ‘Dzeglisdeba’ for the mountain area residents and facilitated consolidation of Christianity after a century of Mongol domination and ensuing unrest. The architectural complex is encircled with a fence and includes Sameba dome cathedral (20-ies of XIV c.), a belfry (second half of XIV c.), trial chamber (XV c.; according to the old rite of mountains, the council of elders held sessions here and it was a decision-making panel regarding all vital issues in tribe’s life). Cathedral was built of andesite rectangular square cut stone. Facades of the two-floor belfry of the cathedral and a neck of the dome are ornamented. As per report of Vakhushti Bagrationi, during hostilities Catholicos’s attires and a Cross of St. Nino from Mtskheta were brought for safe-keeping to Gergeti Sameba.