|poppies in pretty gardens at Ninotsminda|
We fondly believe that we are now heading back to Tbilisi and our final night before heading for home tomorrow. So imagine our dismay to be told that there is another sight on the itinerary for today before we can have that welcome shower and drink at the hotel!
I guess it is the relative familiarity of a return journey that always makes it feel shorter than the outward trip. It therefore seems but a short time before we arrive back in Sagarejo, and somewhat rested after the coach journey, we do somehow find the energy and enthusiasm to explore Ninotsminda Cathedral, (not to be confused with the Bodbe convent also sometimes known as Ninotsminda near Signaghi).
|within the chapel at Ninotsminda|
This is now ruined as a result of earthquakes in 1824 and 1848, but it is very impressive for all that. It was built in AD 575 but there was a church used here for Christian worship from the 5th century. It is an interesting building because it is built in the cruciform style, predating the Jvari Church in Mtskheta which we visited earlier in our week.
There are the remains in the eastern apse of a fresco of the Virgin and Child, vandalized with bullet holes by bandits in the 18th and 19th century. The defensive walls were built around the cathedral in the 16th and 17th centuries and are well preserved.
There is further detailed information online at eurasia travel for example.
|Mid 16th century Bell Tower Ninotsminda|
Many of us take advantage of this opportunity for some Orthodox liturgy and spirituality, standing quietly and discretely at the back, and we soon find we have been given far too little time there before we have to hurry back to the coach for the final stretch of the journey back to Tbilisi. We agree that we are so glad with hindsight that we paused for a while here.
|the Ministry of Internal Affairs building|
|posters in Tbilisi for 15 June local elections|
|the Virgin and Child Fresco in the apse|