Jvari Monastery Mtskheta
Jvari monastery is a Georgian orthodox monastery of the 6th century, It is located in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, eastern Georgia.
Being outstanding monument of Georgian architecture it was one of the greatest religious sites and a center of pilgrimage for Christian nations of the Caucasus.
The wooden cross
Firstly, Jvari church is built on a rocky mountaintop overlooking Mtskheta.
It is a the place where, according to the local legend, a wooden cross was erected by the enlightener of Georgia St.Nino and king Mirian.
Also, the construction of the cross symbolized the fall of paganism and rise of christianity in Georgia.
Exceptional relief sculptures take significant place in the decoration of the facades.
The reliefs depicting the patrons-Stephanos and his family are located on the Eastern façade of the church.
On the southern façade there is also a composition of Ascention of the cross.
Also, on the facet of the drum of the dome there is a figure of a person, possibly the architect.
The present building is generally held to have been 590 and 605. This is based on an inscription on its façade mentioning the principal builders of the church: Stephanos the patricius, Demetrius the Hypatos and Adarnese the hypatos. The importance of the church gradually increased over time and attracted more and more pilgrims every year. In the late Middle Ages the complex was fortified by a stone wall and gate, remnants of which still survive. During the Soviet Union period the church was preserved as a national monument but access was rendered difficult. After Georgia gained its independence the building was restored to active religious use and it was listed as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.