Tbilisi St. Trinity Cathedral

Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi St. Trinity Cathedral

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The Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi (Georgian: თბილისის წმინდა სამების საკათედრო ტაძარი Tbilisis cminda samebis sakatedro tadzari), commonly known as Sameba (Georgian: სამების ლავრა for Trinity), is the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church located in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Constructed between 1995 and 2004, it is the third-tallest Eastern Orthodox cathedral in the world and one of the largest religious buildings in the world by total area. Sameba is a synthesis of traditional styles dominating the Georgian church architecture at various stages in history and has some Byzantine undertones.

The idea to build a new cathedral to commemorate 1,500 years of autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Church and 2,000 years from the birth of Jesus emerged as early as 1989, a crucial year for the national awakening of the then-Soviet republic of Georgia. In May 1989, the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate and the authorities of Tbilisi announced an international contest for the "Holy Trinity Cathedral" project. No winner was chosen at the first round of the contest when more than a hundred projects were submitted. Finally the design by architect Archil Mindiashvili won. The subsequent turbulent years of civil unrest in Georgia deferred this grandiose plan for six years, and it was not until 23 November 1995, that the foundation of the new cathedral was laid.




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