Georgian monasteries in Tao-Klarjeti - Misinformation and changed names
28 October, 2014
When Georgian and foreign tourists come into the region of Turkey that used to be known historically as Tao-Klarjeti, they frequently discover that information provided by billboards placed in front of some monasteries and fortresses is false or misleading.
Like many other churches, Georgian toponym of X century Otkhta Virgin Mary Church is not reflected on the billboard. According to historian Mtvarisa Tarkhnishvili, the so-called Tekale Monastery is actually called Martotsikhe Monastery in Georgian.
For some reason, the billboard in front
of Oshki Church of St. John the Baptist is only in two languages. The Turkish version names some Partrikios Gagik as the monastery’s donator who financed its construction. In the English version, he is mentioned as Patriarch Gagik. The billboard lacks a Georgian version, even though in reality, the man who built the monastery was Erismtavar (Duke) Jojik.
Georgian toponym of X century Khakhuli Virgin Mary Monastery was warped as well. It is mentioned as Haho. For some reason, the Georgian version of the plaque is written in Latin letters, although it is more or less accurate.
Khandzta Monastery was renamed Porta by the Turks, despite being founded in IX century by St. Grigol Khandzteli himself. The billboard doesn’t provide the correct history of its creation, either, and Porta is actually the name of the village near which the monastery is located.
As for Artanuji Fortress that was built in V century by Vakhtang Gorgasali, its toponym was also changed. Due to silver deposits located near the church, it was renamed to Gevhernik Castle.

By Ekaterine Bakhutashvili

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