Discovery at Gergeti Trinity church - An amazing story to tell on the day of Saint Nino
27 January, 2016
Discovery at Gergeti Trinity church - An amazing story to tell on the day of Saint Nino
Georgian Orthodox Church is celebrating the day of Saint Nino (Ninooba Holiday) today. Former Director of National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia, Nikoloz Vacheishvili has published an interesting story concerning this day.

“A story to tell for Ninooba: In 2005 (or maybe it was 2006) the restoration works at Gergeti Trinity was underway. Nothing new was expected to be discovered. We only had to arrange the interior and solve the problems of roofing. The only thing that looked strange was the iconostasis painted blank blue by Russians. One more day and behind the paint different, simpler colors appeared. They called us at the ministry and said the old frescoes appeared. What shall we do? – they asked. Then they sent us some photos and a part of ‘Russian’ paint. We couldn’t wait to see it with our own eyes, so we all left for Gergeti immediately.

The
strange, ‘russification’ layer was slowly removed and we saw some drawings. Then some inscription in Asomtavruli alphabet [the oldest Georgian script] appeared and then ruby red, very thin fresco of Holy Mother and an inscription that read: ‘Saint Nino, Mother of Georgia’. That was very exciting! The fresco was being covered with paint by a Russian exarch, when Ilia Chavchavadze was returning from Saint Petersburg. Now it has reappeared. It is one of very few images of Saint Nino. It dates back to the 16th century and is a little bit naïve, but then it shows how popular she was in the mountains too.

I took these photos that same day. “

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The day of Saint Nino is celebrated by Georgian Church twice a year: on 1 (19) June, when she came to Georgia and on 14 (27) January, when she died.

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