Tsunda

Tsunda

Tsunda Temple, is a relatively large, single-nave construction erected on top of the rocky elevation close to the Kura River, in the outskirts of  Vardzia.  According to Georgian annals, in the first centuries of the New Age  Tsunda was the large city, but currently nothing is known about that.  Certainly the church itself is not that old, its builder, someone Ichkit Gurgenisdze, mentioned in the construction inscription should be contemporaneous of Queen Tamar (turn of XII-XIII cc).  On the other hand decoration of this church – fretwork, bunches of grapes along  the corner rods and other motives arranged on the background of the hewn stone facing, may indicate the later date of its building, however in any case is should not go beyond XIII c.  Although Tsunda  monastery is definitely not a masterpiece of Georgian architecture, its builders seem to be highly skillful masters.  This assumption is backed by the proportions of simple arched space, clarity and lightness of neatly hewn facing and fretwork  decoration.  Perfect selection of the place for the church that stands between the edge of the Kura River bank cliffs and its floodplain best reveal  their  maturity, providing perfect incorporation of the church into the surrounding landscape.

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