Uraveli, Agara Monastery, Church of St. John the Baptist
|Location:||Uraveli, Akhaltsikhe Municipality|
|Dedication:||St. John the Baptist|
|Type:||Domeless Church, Hall church|
|Renovation/Reconstruction:||11th c., 14th-15th cc.|
|Layers of the Murals:||One layer|
In Uraveli the monastery was founded in the 10th century, although a church had already stood there by the 6th-7th centuries. The monastery substantially expanded over decades and its structures were repeatedly repaired and renovated. The main church was built in the 10th century, at the time the monastery was founded. A southern chapel was annexed to it in the 11th century, but another, western annex must belong to a later period. The refectory was built in the 11th-12th centuries – according to a donor inscription, Erist’avt’ Erist’av Beshken and Murvan commissioned Eprem to build it; the bell-tower must belong to the 13th-14th centuries.
Up to five lapidary inscriptions contemporaneous with the construction of the walls of the main church have survived. Two of them are distinguished by their content – that outlined in the donor composition above the window of the eat façade, on the left half of the relief: Ⴑ(Ⴀ)Ⴞ(Ⴄ)ႪႨႧႠ | Ⴖ(ႫႰႧႨႱႠ)ჂႧႠ ႫႤ | Ⴇ(ႤႳႣႭႰ)Ⴄ ႠႶႥႠ|ႸႤႬႤ ႤႱႤ | ႱႲႭႠჂ | Ⴑ(Ⴀ)Ⴊ(Ⴍ)ႺႥ(Ⴄ)Ⴊ(Ⴀ)Ⴃ | ႠႫႨႱ ႠႣ|Ⴂ(Ⴈ)ႪႨႱႠ Ⴓ(ႴႪႨႱ)Ⴀ | Ⴇ(ႤႳ)Ⴃ(ႭႰႤႱႠ)ႧჃႱ, Ⴖ(ႫႤႰႧႫႠ)Ⴌ | ႠႩ(ႳႰႧ)Ⴞ(Ⴄ)Ⴌ ႣႠ | Ⴗ(ႭႥႤႪ)ႬႨ ႸႥႨႪ|ႬႨ ႠႫႨႱ ႤႩႪ[ႤႱႨ(Ⴈ)ႱႠႬႨ Ⴘ(ႤႨႼႷႠႪႤ)Ⴌ] – In the name of God, I, T’eodore, built this stoa for praying to God for Teodore; God bless all parishioners of this church and have mercy on them.
Above the window of the same east façade: ႱႠႫႤႡ[ႠႭ ႼႫႨႬႣႠႭ] ႠႣႨ|ႣႤ ႫႠႼႷႭ(Ⴄ)Ⴐ(ႤႪႨ) | Ⴇ(ႤႭႣႭႰ)Ⴄ [ႽႪႩႨႱႨ] – Holy Trinity, glorify Bishop T’eodore of Atsq’uri [Chlkisi].