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Georgian architecture

Dec - 1 - 2012
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Georgia has a magnificent 1,300-year tradition of architecture, which is one of the most significant expressions of the nation’s artistic vision and heritage. The famous cupola structures that dominate Georgian ecclesiastic architecture can be traced to domestic dwellings.
Two major forms of ecclesiastic building developed in Georgia; the central domed structure and the basilica. The basilica form came to Georgia through the influence of the Roman and Hellenistic worlds.
The turn of the seventh century was an epoch of extraordinary architectural achievement. The tetraconch Church of Dzhvari, original in design and conception, soon became a model for many other architects.
The eighth and ninth centuries were an interesting transitional period of hybrid forms such as, the fusion of the central domed church and the triple-church basilica. The most notable surviving successes of this kind include the domed Church of Vachnadziani and the double-domed Church of Kvelatsminda in Gurdxhaani. This period is known as the Golden Age of Georgia.
The Golden Age of Georgian culture came to end with the invasion of the Mongols in the 1240s. The most important building constructed under Mongol domination, is situated in the province of Samtskhe.
Despite many attempts by Georgia to throw off foreign dominance, Iranian influence was the strongest new element in Georgian architecture from the end of the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries. Brick was favoured over stone, and the arrangement of bricks into patterns is distinctly Islamic, although the Georgians adapted the technique to serve their own Christian iconography.
From the twentieth century, Georgia has also a number of buildings that marked the Stalinist era. Many municipal and state buildings were constructed in the 1950s. From contemporary buildings, the Ministry for Highways in Tbilisi demonstrates that architectural creativity is alive and well in Georgia.


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