Tsalenjikha Temple

Tsalenjikha church
Tsalenjikha monastery
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Tsalenjikha Tsalenjikha Temple
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  Tsalenjikha Temple of Christ the Savior stands on top of a hillock that dominates the village. Initially the church was surrounded by other constructions, one of which – the palace of the rulers of Samegrelo-Grand Princes Daniani- is now in ruins, whilst another building- a bell-tower of later times is in good repair. The church itself is crowned with the dome and has got so called “recorded cross” configuration and extended apses attached from the west. The sanctuary apse is faceted externally while the pastophorium apses are semicircular. The dome is supported by a pair of columns with bishop’s throne attached to the southern one from the east. All features of the church plain gallstone facing indicate that the building was constructed in XIII-XIV c. The church is famous for its wall painting, performed in XIV c. by the group of artists headed by someone Kir Manuil Eugenykos – an artist, on purpose invited from Byzantium by Vamikh Dadiani. Hence, the frescos of Tsalenjikha Temple of Christ the Savior first of all are the samples of Greek-Byzantium art of so called “Palaeologus Epoch”, although, quite possible, at list one of the artists represented the local school of wall painting. The arched ambulatory that envelops the church from three sides has been built in relatively later times. During XVI-XVII cc this roofed space was consecutively split by stonework partitions transforming those separat-edspaces into burials. In the course of time these partitions were covered with portraits of persons buried there. In the central part there are portraits of church building donors – Vamikh Dadiani and his family coupled with the fresco of Bishop of Tsalejikha – Eudemon (Jaiani), the historical person of XVII c, who renewed and completed wall paintings.