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7 March 2012 / leggypeggy

Tbilisi’s Sameba Cathedral

Sameba Cathedral

We spent most of an afternoon walking to and then exploring the massive and impressive Sameba Cathedral, also known as the Holy Trinity Cathedral, in Tbilisi.

Located on Elia Hill in Alvabari—one of the city’s old districts—the cathedral was built between 1995–2004. It supposedly commemorates 1500 years of autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Church and 2000 years since the birth of Jesus.

At 84 metres, it’s the world’s third tallest Eastern Orthodox cathedral. It has nine chapels, including ones called after the Archangels, John the Baptist, Saint Nino, Saint George, Saint Nicholas, the Twelve Apostles and the All Saints. Five of the chapels are in a large underground compartment. The structure, including its large narthex, covers 5000 square meters. The whole thing is topped with a dome, which includes a 7.5-metre-high cross covered in gold.

Stone work at the Sameba Cathedral

Promotional materials say the structure is made of natural materials. Online comments say the floor is made of marble tiles and the altar is decorated with mosaics. As usual, Poor John and I were wearing shorts, so didn’t manage to get inside.

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