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Ertso Sioni Church

Location: Sioni, Tianeti Municipality; Currently Relocated in the Giorgi Chitaia Open Air Museum of Ethnography, Georgian National Museum
Place: Georgia, Kakheti
Dedication: Unknown
Category: Built
Type: Domeless Church, Three-Aisled Basilica
Date/Period: Second half of the 5th century
Renovation/Reconstruction: 8th-9th cc.
Layers of the Murals: Two layers

First Layer of Murals  Second Layer of Murals


The church was dismantled due to construction of Sioni reservoir and transferred to the Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnography. Restorers and scholars hold two different opinions about the roof of the structure: according to one, all three naves of the basilica must have been fitted under the gable roof, while another opinion suggests that the structure had the image of a traditional three-nave basilica with a raised gable roof over the central nave and relatively lower single-slope roofs covering the side naves.

The second layer of the painting was badly damaged in the process of dismantling and transferring of the monument. The painting suffered further damage caused by natural conditions in the following years. Presently, only insignificant colored spots can be identified from the second layer of the painting in the chancel of the basilica.