Mtskheta, Major Church of the Holy Cross
|Location:||Mtskheta, Mtskheta Municipality|
|Place:||Georgia, Shida Kartli|
|Type:||Domed Church, Tetraconch|
|Layers of the Murals:||Three layers|
The church was built by the Patrikios Stepanoz I of Kartli (5886/587-604/605). The interior, facades and walls of the church have preserved relief donor images and construction inscriptions.
There is a three-part donor composition above the window, on a three-facet projection of the chancel apse; on the central slab, near the image of Stepanoz I: [Ⴟ](ႳႠႰ)Ⴍ ႫႠႺ|ႾႭႥႰႨႱႠ|Ⴍ ႱႲႤႴႠႬႭ|Ⴑ ႵႠႰႧႪႨႱ|[Ⴀ] ႮႠႲႰႨ|[Ⴉ]ႨႭႱႨ Ⴘ~Ⴄ – Cross of the Savior, have mercy on Step’anoz, the Patrikios of K’art’li; on the southern facet, near the image of Demetre Vipatos: Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴍ | Ⴋ(Ⴈ)Ⴕ(ႠႤ)Ⴊ Ⴋ|ႧႠႥ|ႠႰ|ႠႬႢ|ႤႪႭ|ႦႭ || ႣႤႫႤႲႰ|ႨႱ ჃႮႠ|ႲႭႱႱ|Ⴀ ႫႤႭ|ႾႾ ႤႷ|ႠႥ – Saint Archangel Michael, be an intercessor for the Vipatos Demetre; on the northern facet, near the image of Kobul-Stepanoz: [Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴍ [Ⴂ](ႠႡ)] Ⴐ(ႨႤ)Ⴊ |ႫႧႠႥ[Ⴀ]Ⴐ|ႠႬႢႤႪႭ[Ⴊ]|Ⴍ ႠႣႰ[ႬႤ]|ႰႱႤႱ ჃႮႠႲ|ႭႱႱႠ ႫႤႭႾ|ႤႷႠႥ – Saint Archangel Gabriel be an intercessor for the Vipatos Adarnerse; on the same slab near the image of Kobul-Stepanoz: [ႵႭ]ႡႳႪ |[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[-]|[–]|Ⴐ|Ⴑ|ႤႱႻႤ – K’obul Step’anoz, son of Adarnerse.
on the southern façade, the central facet of the projection, near the figure of Kobul-Stepanoz: Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴍ |Ⴑ(ႲႤ)Ⴔ(ႠႬ)Ⴄ|ႵႭႡႳႪ |ႱႲ~Ⴈ |Ⴘ(ႤႨႼႷႠႪ)Ⴄ – St. Step’ane, have mercy on Kobul St~i.
In the interior of the church, in the south-west room, above the window: † ႼႷႠႪႭႡႨႧႠ Ⴖ(ႫႰႧႨႱႠ)ჂႧႠ ႣႠ ႸႤႼႤႥႬ[Ⴈ]|ႧႠ ႿႳႠႰႨႱႠჂႧႠ ႫႤ ႧႤႫႤႱႲႨႠ ႫჄ|ႤႥႠႪႫႠႬ Ⴕ(ႰႨႱႲ)ჁႱႫႠႬ ႠႶႥႠႸჁႬႤ ႱႠႷႭ|ႴႤႪႨ ႤႱႤ ႱႠჄႱႤႬႤႡႤႪႠႣ ႱႳႪႨႱႠ |ႹႤႫႨႱႠ ႧႠႥႷႠႬႨႱႠႺႤႫႤႪႠႣ ႣႤ|ႣႠႧႠ – with God’s grace and help of the Cross, I, Themestia, maid of God, had this house built to commemorate my soul, for reverence of mothers.