Mets Gondura – Surb Hakob (Saint Jacob) church

2 didi gondura-surb hakobisEstablishment of the church: Surb Hakob (Saint Jacob) church in Mets Gyondura village (10 km north-west of Ninotsminda) was founded in the 1930s. The name of the church is mentioned in the bulletin of the Georgian and Imeretian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church in 1839-1840. In accordance with that document, the number of the church parishioners at that time was 256 [1]. In the 1860s the church was still wooden [2]. In 1869, a new church built of stone was established on the site of the old one. The church is standing till now. There is an inscription on its western front which confirms the construction of the new church. According to that inscription, the church was built with public funds, under the leadership of Rev. Father Hakob Mikayelyants [3].

Another church named Surb Hambardzum in Mets Gondura village is mentioned in the bulletin of Diocesan churches’ from 1905. The income of the church was 37 rubles in silver [4].

Architecture: The church has a type of basilica; it is built of gray hewn stone. The overall dimensions are 18,92x10,85 m. There is a small inscription and a cross-stone (khachkar) made of red tuf (type of a stone) placed in the front part of the church. The entrance is opened from the church’s western part and it is surrounded by a rectangular strip. There are arched niches on the right and left sides of the entrance door. A two-storey belfry is built on the church’s roof. The Holy Altar with its sacristies on the right and left sides are placed in the eastern part.

1 Didi Gonduri Surb HakobParish priests: Rev. Father Hakob Mikayelyants was one of the priests of Surb Hakob church in Mets Gondura village [5]. He was a priest in the 1860-1880s [6].

School: Information about the village’s church parish school is preserved in a diocesan schools’ bulletin (1869), according to which it was founded in 1864 with the fund of the local public. At that moment, the number of students was 49 [7]. In accordance with the bulletin from 185, the village preschool was located in the narthex of Surb Hakob church. Alexander Petrosyan is mentioned as a teacher [8].

Reconstruction of the church: In 2010, the roof of Surb Hakob church was repaired and tin-plated. The reconstruction was implemented with the support and funds from the benefactor of the village Mnatsakan Arakelyan from Russia. Interior decoration activities continue. The church has not been reconsecrated yet, so Divine Liturgies are celebrated with a Vemkar (the rock at the bottom of the Altar).

Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia

Armenian Historical and Cultural Heritage Research Center in Georgia

[1] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 1, գ. 3800, թ. 4.

[2] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 1, գ. 3848, թ. 74.

[3] S. Karapetyan, Javakhk, Yerevan, 2006, p. 373:

[4] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 1, գ. 3912, մաս 1, թ. 111-ի շրջ.-112.

[5] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 2, գ. 1173, թ. 2; գ. 1177, թ. 2; գ. 1201, թ. 3.

[6] Armenian Historical and Cultural Heritage Research Center in Georgia, Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia

[7] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 1, գ. 3977, թ. 53-ի շրջ.-54.

[8] NAA, ֆ. 56, ց. 15, գ. 52, թ. 44.

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