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Holy Mother of God Church of Bethlehem, Tbilisi

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Title: Holy Mother of God Church of Bethlehem, Tbilisi  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Church of the Holy Seal, Tbilisi, Saint Gevork of Mughni Church, Tbilisi, Church of the Red Gospel, Tbilisi, Ejmiatsin Church, Tbilisi, Saint Karapet Church, Tbilisi
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Holy Mother of God Church of Bethlehem, Tbilisi

Holy Mother of God Church of Bethlehem
ზემო ბეთლემის მაცხოვრის შობის ტაძარი
Բեթղեհեմի Սուրբ Աստվածածին եկեղեցի
Saint Bethlehem Church (foreground) as seen from the Narikala fortress
Basic information
Location Georgia
Geographic coordinates
Affiliation Georgian Orthodox Church
Architectural description
Architectural style Armenian
Groundbreaking Second half of the 13th century
Completed 1727

Holy Mother of God Church of Bethlehem (Georgian orthodox church.


Upper Betlemi church is located at the foot of Narikala fortress in Kldis-Ubani (Roch District) district of Tbilisi. Firstly the chapel was founded, but the manager of construction priest Gregory died and was buried near the chapel. The work was completed by his grandson Barsegh. For long time services was held in that chapel. and the church remained unfinished. The upper parts, constructed of black stone, were built by Agha-Meliq Bebutyan, a participant of the Indian crusade of Nadir Shah and who was killed in battle against the Turks in 1724. He invited two nuns from the St. Yekaterina monastery in New Jugha. His son Meliq Avetis built the fence. According to priests of the church Melikset and Mesrop Ter-Grigoryan the new church was founded by priest Sargis in cooperation with Khoja-Parukh, Baghdasar, Harutyun and Stepan. The foundation of the chapel was in the end of the 13th century. Construction of bigger church was held during rein of catholicos Eghiazar (1681–1691) and Alexander (1706–1714). During the second half of the 18th century the Archpriest of the church was Mkhitar, who was murdered by Agha Mohammed Khan for refusing to show the hiding-place where the church treasures were kept. After Mikhtar his son Stepanos becomes the Prior, "a priest gifted", who is much described in scripts. In 1981, during excavations inside the church, the basement of the chapel was found [4].

Georgian appropriation

In 1994 the church was placed under the control of the Georgian Orthodox Church.[2] In 1990, the original Armenian cross of the church was removed.[1] In 1990-1991, the Armenian fresco in the interior of the dome depending the Holy Father was erased.[1] Also, the Armenian altar piece, originally constructed in 1898, along with the Armenian inscription attesting to its construction was completely destroyed by early 1990.[1] The basin for baptism was also completely destroyed.[1] The late-17th-century inscribed Armenian khachkar was removed from the entrance and later disappeared.[1]


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f  
  2. ^ a b "Tbilisi Explorer: Upper Bethlehem". City of Tbilisi, Georgia. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  3. ^  
  4. ^ Бетхем Сурб Аствацатин
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