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Ishkhani, Cathedral of Holy Apostles

Location: Iskhani (Current village Arpacık), Artvin Province, Yusufeli District
Place: Turkey, Tao
Dedication: Holy Apostles
Category: Built
Type: Domed Church, Croix Inscrite/Cross-in-square
Date/Period: 7th c.
Renovation/Reconstruction: 9th c.; Second half of the 10th century; 1032
Layers of the Murals: One layer



The church must have been constructed in the seventh century by the Catholicos of Armenia Nerses III the Builder. It was restored by Saban IX, the disciple of Grigol of Khandzta and the first Bishop of Ishkhani. Remnants of Nerses’ and Saban’s churches partly ended up within the body of a large cathedral built in the second half of the tenth century. In 1032 Archbishop Anton of Ishkhani had the church renovated in two stages by architect Iovane Morchaisdze. Built in the second half of the tenth century and newly embellished in 1032, the church was one of the most important episcopal cathedrals of South Georgia for centuries. The church draws attention in many respects by its well-preserved architecture, ornamental décor, murals and numerous inscriptions. For centuries the cathedral and its monastery (?) were a significant education center of the country. The church was restored by Turkish restorers in 2013.