Katskhi Pillar Partially Rehabilitated

The National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation, in their 2015 program, restored one of the monastery buildings of Katskhi Pillar.

Katskhi pillar is a natural limestone monolith located in Imereti, Western Georgia, and was listed among the most bizarre looking churches in the world.

The pillar is approximately 40 metres tall. The cliff was unclimbed by researchers until 1944, but was only systematically studied from 1999 to 2009. The studies determined that the ruins dated from the 9th or 10th century.

“During the restoration, a stone formation was built to raise the roof slope, old doors and windows were replaced, and the roof was reshingled with Imeretian tiles,” read the agency's statement.

Before Christianity, Katskhi pillar was the symbol of the fertility god for the local population. Its cult meaning was not lost after Christianity, as people still believed they were closer to God there. Soon after, a church was built on top of the mountain.

More recently, the Georgian Orthodox Church built a small new church at the top of the pillar. It is reached via a vertigo-inducing iron ladder located on the upper half of the pillar. The remains of a believer, who died at the pillar at an unknown date, are kept in the new church.

23 December 2015 19:34