The Timotesubani Monastery, presumably founded by Shalva and Ivane Akhalcikeli, rulers of the historical region of Tori, is located in the Borjomi district, in the village of Timotesubani, 3 km from the town of Tsagveri. The main church (the monastery consists of two churches) is dedicated to the Virgin and was built at the end of the 12th and start of the 13th century. It is an inscribed-cross type building, with the dome resting on the projections of the apse walls and two free-standing pillars. The church is built of brick, which is quite unusual for Georgian architecture of this era – the only contemporary parallel is the church of St. Nicolas in Kintsvisi monastery. The mural paintings at Timotesubani are among the best examples of Georgian medieval art. They were executed in the first half of the 13th century and belong to the so-called “epoch of Queen Tamar” revealing characteristic features of the new decorative dynamic style: increased movements, slimmed proportions, enriched fold patterns and a carpet-like layout of painting. However these murals are outstanding not only for their high artistic quality, but also for their unique iconographic programme: here we find an unparalleled image of the last Judgment, which consisted of a huge image of Paradise and a depiction of hell including the Mandylion, thereby giving a guarantee of the Resurrection.
Deesis and Last Judgment, beginning of the 13th century, Western Wall of the Central Nave (Photo: Dror Maayan)
Hell (detail from the Last Judgment), beginning of the 13th century, Northern Pilaster of the Western Bay (Photo: Dror Maayan)