Zegani (Zaki)


Nino Bagrationi
Giorgi Bagrationi
Giorgi Bagrationi
Gia Shervashidze

Zegani, or Zaki Church, lies on Erusheti plateau. It was the largest church to stand here in the time when Ekvtime Takaishvili visited the area. The building must have been blasted in the middle of the 20th century. Only the south arm and west wall fragments preserve.

The church was originally designed and built as a triconch, a three-apsed church with an apse elongated by means of a bema towards the sanctuary. The latter projects outside and is provided with small rooms on the sides. The south and north arms must have been identical, and the west arm seems to have been elongated by a pilaster arcade. There was a gallery on the west edge with an entrance from the west wall. The dome was round and had four windows and an arcade, including in the interior.

The exterior of the church was faced with neatly carved stone. The dome is provided with a row of paired arches supported by a succession of shafts and corbels. The windows are round and are embellished with head ornaments with recurring lily motifs.  The dome used to be covered with hewn tiles.

The church had a gallery on the south-west.

The building used to be adorned with several relief carvings which are now missing or buried under the debris. The same applies to the donor relief which had to be located on the top of the south door tympanum; as well as to the reliefs of four figure reliefs; the image of an eagle and St George.

The church must have been built in the second half of the 10th century.