Monday, November 01, 2010

Georgian churches, Pt 1

Some random shots of Georgian churches, mostly taken with my Nikon D90 and 18-200 VRII lens, except for the photo of Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mkskheta (with the flags in the foreground), which I took with a $50 point and shoot.

The first two photos (taken in 2004 when I was an academic fellow in Baku) are of the Ananuri Fortress and Church along the Georgian Military Highway, on the way to Gaudari. This splendid church, heavily fortified, was built in the 17th century. A hundred years later, a rival clan laid siege to the compound and finally won, killing off the ducal family associated with the church/castle. The peasants soon revolted against their new overlords, however. The church is a candidate for a UNESCO world heritage designation.

Something should be said about the photo below. I know a number of artists in Tbilisi. One of them is by training a mathematician. He is apparently affiliated with the Georgian Institute of Cybernetics, and has published a number of pieces on mathematical models, including something on international theory. I dropped by a flat he provides to his late wife's sister, and as you can see, the available wall space is largely taken up with a huge array of Orthodox iconography.

We talked and had refreshments in the living room. Looking at the wall where the icons were displayed, he summed up his sister-in-law's past three decades:

"She used to be a fanatical communist," he told me.

"But now," he shrugged, "she is a fanatical Christian."

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