Sameba cathedral

Sameba Cathedral and the “White House,” where President Saakashvili lives; copyright Keith Kenney, 2011.

When Susanna and I climb the hill home in the evening, and then turn around, facing east, we see Sameba cathedral, as well as Georgia’s “White House,” where President Mikheil Saakashvili lives. The cathedral is also known as Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi. Built in 2004, it is the main cathedral of the Georgian Orthodox Church in Tbilisi, and is the third largest orthodox church in the world. The idea to build a new cathedral to commemorate 1,500 years of the Georgian Orthodox Church and 2,000 years from the birth of Jesus emerged in 1989, a crucial year for the national awakening of the then-Soviet Republic of Georgia. In May 1989, the Georgian Orthodox Patriarchate and the authorities of Tbilisi announced an international contest for the project of the “Holy Trinity Cathedral.” No winner was chosen at the first round of the contest, but architect Archil Mindiashvili finally won. The subsequent turbulent years of civil unrest deferred this grandiose plan for six years, and the foundation was finally laid in November 23, 1995. Mostly anonymous donations by several businessmen and common citizens paid for construction of the church as a “symbol of the Georgian national and spiritual revival.”

Sameba Cathedral; copyright Keith Kenney, 2011.


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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