The Ikorta church of the Archangel commonly known as Ikorta (იკორთა) is a 12th-century Georgian Orthodox church located at the outskirts of the village Ikort’a in Shida Kartli region of eastern Georgia. The church was originally a part of Ikorta castle, from which only the citadel and the church remain.
The Ikorty temple is currently located in territory controlled by the Russian occupiers.
The leaders of the Kakhetian uprising of 1659 Bidzina Cholokashvili, Elizbar and Shalva Eristavi are buried in the Ikorta Cathedral. They were tortured to death in Iran, and several years later, their remains were secretly transported to the temple of Ikorta.
According to Vakhushti Bagrationi: “This is with a window of Mount Orbodzli, inside the mountain slope of Ikorta, the monastery is large, domed, well built, a good place; Seated Archimandrite ~. In the early 19th century, after joining Russia, many monasteries were abolished. In 1811, the Ikorta monastery also became an ordinary village church. There must have been a refectory, a priest's residence, monks' quarters, ancillary buildings, a fence and much more around the church for monasteries built in the XII century, unfortunately, even traces of these buildings are nowhere to be seen.
At present, only the ruins of later buildings remain around the monument. As follows from historical sources, the monastery and, in general, this side belonged to the Xan Eristavs from the late centuries. They even turned this item into a stronghold. Around the church there is a fence with rectangular towers in the eastern corners. To the west, on a hill, there was a rather complex citadel. Nothing remained of the fence, only the ruins of the southeastern tower 4-5 meters high. The citadel is badly damaged. Historical sources have not preserved any information about the creation of the Ikorta monastery or the construction of this temple. The only mention of the building survived within the walls of the monument itself. To date, this inscription has not even reached me. His interrogation was possible only in the 19th century and only partially. There were several inscriptions on the walls of the church, one of them with a date - on the right side of the western facade, at the gate. This inscription m. Brose saw this in 1848, and a few decades later saw the same inscription in Jordan. Secondly, the inscription with the names of the founders is well preserved; it is placed under the horizontal shoulders of the decorative cross on the eastern facade. The first inscription gives the date of construction of Ikorta - 1172.
The author of the "Monument to Eristavta" gives interesting information about the further history of the temple: "Then the great throne of Ikorta, the Archangel Micheles, was demolished, and they began to build it." The author does not report the reason for the demolition of the temple; the restoration work was carried out by John Ksani Eristavi. The chronicle does not indicate the exact date, but it seems that it happened in the second half of the fourteenth century.
Inspection of the monument shows that the renovation at that time should not have been large-scale. A later reference to the temple is again provided by an inscription on the wall. As M. Brose notes, new construction began in 1672 during the reign of King Shah Nawaz (1658 - 1675). Judging by the inscription, Yase Ksani Eristavi did a great job. His hand also touched the temple and enriched the ensemble with monastery buildings. To date, none of these buildings have survived. The bell tower was converted in 1739 by an enemy army that entered Saeristavo. The temple fence was also demolished at the end of the 18th century. King George XII wrote about this to his son John in 1800: "The head of the Icorty monastery will not leave the church lands to the neighbors of the Chivi monastery." I told them to go to the house of the Sahasian peasants, because this is their shrine ~. What was done as a result of this order is unknown. In addition to the above passages, there are no other historical references on Ikorta, but they are not directly related to the building. Also noteworthy is the fact that in recent centuries the anchorites were a noble crypt. Here are buried Elizbar and Shalva Eristavi, Bidzina Cholokashvili, who sacrificed themselves to Georgia. It is known that two years later the leaders of the Kakheti uprising of 1659 were tortured to death in Iran. After a long time, their remains were secretly recovered and buried in the temple of Ikorta.
After the August 2008 events (the Russian-Georgian war), the village of Ikorta also became part of the territory occupied by the Russian occupiers.
The plan of the central domed temple of Ikorta is enclosed in an elongated rectangle. Entrance only from the west and south. The interior space is quite complex. The dome rests on the slopes of the eastern sanctuary and pylons to the west. The dome contains twelve arched roof windows at regular intervals. The main space of the temple is formed by walls erected in the form of a cross. To the east of the coats of arms of the cross is the apse, the rest are rectangular. If the apse ends in a shell, the rest of the beams are overlapped by arches. The middle name is on the second floor. Above the sacristy and the sacristy are the so-called caches, the shapeless pentagonal plan of these vaults repeats the outlines. On the lower floor, the boats are covered with two transverse arches, and on the upper - shapeless cylindrical arches. The interior decoration of the church, in addition to the dome windows, is illuminated by the windows located in the arms of the cross. The inner walls of the temple were intended for painting, therefore, hewn stone was used only in critical places (on capitals, etc.), and the bulk of the walls were erected from flat stone and brick. The walls at one time were covered with frescoes, but over time they were badly damaged, even the restored part has been preserved fragmentarily.
Masses outside the temple have lost little things for centuries. The only Western Gate, which brings dissonance to the overall ensemble, clearly seems late. The arched system is the main decoration element of all four facades of the Ikorta temple. Each side has individual niches and personality. The western facade is better decorated.
The finishing cornice of the lower building has been restored to its original form. A very small fragment of a carved cornice has been preserved on the southern, northern and western pediments.
Hundreds of years have passed since the first enamel jewelry was made. During this time, designers created enamel jewelry inspired by previous enamellers. However, in their enamel artistry, they not only used the past experience but also incorporated their own innovations and ideas. Each period has greatly shaped the enamel craftsmanship. It’s interesting to learn about the history of enamel jewelry and different trends that characterized each period.
Egypt (4000-345 BC)
Byzantine Enamel Jewelry (395-1453)
Thanks to the knowledge and experience from the ancient Egypt, the enamel technology has improved greatly and reached its height in the 4th century during the Byzantine time, using mainly blue coating. During this period enamel jewelry became more gorgeous and popular even in Europe. After that, copper enamel jewelry replaced gold, hence reducing manufacturing costs.
Renaissance (14-17th Century)
Rococo (18th Century)
Asymmetric forms and bright colors were dominant during the Rococo period.
New Art Movement (19th Century)
The end of the 19th century marks the beginning of the cultural exchange and interaction between the western civilizations and China. Craftsmen started exploring new motives, mainly nature with all its components. That’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise that a lot of enamel jewelry was made based on motives of nature.
If you are the one who is looking forward to explore the culture of the small country, located between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, this blog is directly for you.
Right in the middle of Georgia there is a small settlement Tserovani, where every visitor can enjoy the traditional culture and long-lasting history, to become a part and fall in love with Georgia even more.
Little About Internally Displaced Artists
Just about 10 years ago this little village, with the same-size houses, didn’t even exist, but in 2008, after Russian occupation, 8000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) were settled. It was a long period of dark hours, but unexpectedly enamel art became the solution. First, IDPs began to study this kind of art and then, after the hard work and strong will, first enamel studio Ikorta has opened. Enamel art became their source to share their story, thoughts, pain and joy to people. This became a motivation for others. Artists began creating jewelry, also they began to teach visitors enamel art. Meanwhile, Tserovani and Ikorta became a desired place to visit, attend the workshop they provide and explore enamel art with its whole taste.
Little About Enamel Art
It is remarkable, that the art of Georgian cloisonne enamel has no less than 1200 years of existence. It is the ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, mostly used for jewellery and small fittings for clothes, weapons or similar small objects decorated with geometric designs, with thick cloison walls. The largest enamelled work of art in the world - Khakhuli triptych was made by Georgian and Byzantine enamel artists.
Fortunately, Georgia cloisonne enamel art is still trendy - old technologies with modern attitude became the next stage for Georgian enamel art to spread
So here is where journey begins...
Tourists, who are looking for an intercultural experience in art and also enjoy DIY are often attending special Enamel Jewelry workshops at Ikorta. They become time travelers with enamel artists, people, who have lost everything and found their path again, full of motivation and hope. Artists tell the history of ancient art and culture of Georgia. Visitors make their own jewelry and find bliss and joy, while participating in a unique cultural exchange. They feel connected to the Georgian culture, which becomes an unforgettable life-long memory.
Almost everything in Georgian culture is related to centuries-old history. So, if you desire more involvement in the culture while visiting Georgia, try to prepare a Georgian dish or handmade crafts, which will create unforgettable memories. Do you wonder what is worth trying and what will become a heartwarming memory? Then follow us!
Georgian Cloisonne Enamel Art
Georgian traditional cloisonne enamel art is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, mostly used for jewellery and small fittings for clothes, weapons or similar small objects decorated with geometric designs, with thick cloison walls. The Khakhuli triptych, a large gold altarpiece with over 100 Georgian and Byzantine plaques, dating from the 8th to 12th centuries, is said to be the largest enamelled work of art in the world. Nowadays, Georgian enamel art is still popular and you can make your own jewelry in special studios and, besides being fun and relaxing to make, it is one of the best ways to explore and get familiar with old Georgian culture.
Georgian ceramics has a millenia-old history, which is confirmed by archaeological research. Even now, this culture is favoured and used in making pitchers, tiles, and various vessels. Georgian ceramics has a distinctive style of painting that will help you understand our cultural peculiarities.
Felt is one of the oldest methods of creating and processing tissue fabric. Felt can be used to make carpets, rugs, clothes, hats, shoes, Georgian traditional chokha and burka. Historically, felt processing reflected family traditions and folk handcrafting and was very laborious. Nowadays, felt culture is still admired and it is a legacy of Georgian folk art.
Georgian Bread Baking
Kakhetian Shoti is a Georgian bread - one of those unforgettable flavors associated with the Georgian table. Skilled bakers will teach you how to put the dough in a hot clay tone (big baking boiler) and how to bake Kakhetian Shoti bread.
Vintage, Grapes and Churchkhela
Wine and grapes are one of the strongest symbols of Georgia. Picking the grapes with your hands, then standing in the wine extractor (in Georgian “Satsnakhelil”) and pressing the grapes, will be a big pleasure. You will never forget Churchkhela making process - nut bead, immersed in the badagi (thick grape juice), taste - impossible to forget.
CZECH REPUBLIC AMBASSADOR AND MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS VISITED OUR SOCIAL ENTERPRISE /ჩეხეთის შრომისა და სოციალური დაცვის მინისტრმა მიქაელა მ
They observed the process of workshop and now the part of our jewelry is in their private collection.
ისინი დააკვირდნენ მუშაობის პროცესს. ჩვენი სახელოსნოს ნაწარმი ახლა მათ პირად კოლექციას ამშვენებს.
one of our costumer's review about our workshop ჩვენი ერთ-ერთი მომხმარებლის მიმოხილვა ვორქშოპის შესახებ
So earlier this year, I took an enamel class at the Embassy and wrote about it here. Sometime late spring, the CLO office (which coordinated the class), switched to an organization from the Tserovani IDP settlement.
An IDP settlement is for Internally Displaced Persons. Tserovani is a settlement for people displaced from the Tskhinvali Region area of Georgia during the 2008 War. About 7000 people live in this settlement (note the red roofed houses go on practically forever).