Changli

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Nino Bagrationi
Giorgi Bagrationi
Giorgi Bagrationi
Gia Shervashidze

 
Distinguished by exceptional craftsmanship, Changli Church lies 80 km south-west of Karsi, away from historical Georgian provinces, in the centre of a highland village now inhabited by the Kurds. The section extending from central doorway to the south is taken up by a multi-line inscription in asomtavruli (majuscule) script, according to which the church was built within a short period of time in the 14th century when the province was subordinated to the Georgian Church. Several Georgian inscriptions survive also on a cornice, and the tombstones incorporated in village house masonries bear Georgian epitaphs.

The church is cross-domed. It is a slightly projecting armed cross on the plan. The sanctuary is flanked by pastophoria. The drum of the dome is remarkable for unusual architectural and structural solution. Supported by squinches and pendentives, the base of the dome is marked with two shafts carrying eight two-section columns forming an arcade. There are arched windows between arches. Each of the south and north arms is pierced by three windows. The sanctuary receives light from the central window which has arched niches on each side.

The exterior of the dome is highly remarkable for its artistic and architectural qualities. The sixteen-partite arcade, supported by twisted shafts, features an alternation of windows and triangular niches.

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