Fire Breaks Out at Georgia’s Main Cathedral

TBILISI – A fire broke out on the first floor of Georgia’s Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi early Sunday morning.

Firefighters remain hard at work trying to extinguish the blaze, the cause of which remains unknown. The fire appears to have started in a stockroom where stationary and other paper items are stored, according to first responders at the scene.

At least 10 groups of rescuers were dispatched to the site to assist with the safe evacuation of people in the immediate area of the cathedral grounds.

Perched atop a hill on the left bank of the Mtkvari River in Tbilisi’s historic Elia neighborhood, the cathedral complex – known locally as Sameba – is the main place of worship for the Georgian Patriarchate and its leader, Ilia II.

Built in 2004, it is the largest Georgian Orthodox Church in the world and third largest religious building in Eastern Christianity.

In addition to serving as the ecclesiastical center of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the cathedral is regarded as an important symbol of a new independent Georgia.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

Cover photo: Sputnik/ Denis Aslanov

20 March 2016 16:36