Parkhali Monastery, Church of St. John the Baptist
|Location:||Former Parkhali (Current Barhal/Altıparmak), Yusufeli District, Artvin Province|
|Dedication:||St. John the Baptist|
|Type:||Domeless Church, Three-Aisled Basilica|
|Date/Period:||Completed in 973|
|Renovation/Reconstruction:||The construction of the large three-nave basilica was completed by 973. The church presumably was renovated by the end of the 10th or the beginning the 11th century by the Catholicos of Kartli Ioane. Some renovations are supposed in the 15th century as well. The rehabilitation works were carried in 2018-2019.|
|Layers of the Murals:||One layer|
The church was built as the catholicon of the monastery of St. John the Baptist. Rulers of Tao, brothers Erist’avt’ Eristavi Bagrat and Magistros Davit’ started building it conjointly in 961. Construction was completed by David in 973 (it is testified by the colophon of Parkhali Gospel [NCM, MS A-1453]). The church is diversely remarkable by its well-preserved architecture, sculpted decoration, murals and numerous inscriptions (among them particularly interesting are dozens of minuscule inscriptions outlined in red paint). For centuries, the monastery served as one of the most important literary centers of the country.