15 km from Ochamchira to the north from the river Mokva there is a village of the same name well-known for Mokva Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, the jewel of ancient Abkhazian architecture, erected during the prosperity period of Abkhazian kingdom in the second half of the 10 th centuries. The cathedral was built by the order of Abkhazian tsar Leon III (955-967). The legend says that “Avaricious and cruel Leon III not wishing to pay the architect for the cathedral building accused him of the infringement of the agreement: he said that the vicinities were not clearly seen from the cathedral dome. The architect attempting to prove him wrong climbed the dome using a ladder. The tsar ordered to remove the ladder and the master died of starvation”. There are a lot of Mokva Cathedral descriptions left. According to them the cathedral of traditional Greek-cross construction amazed with its rich decorations: “The walls were painted with original frescos.
The marble iconostasis with columns was magnificent, the carved eaves were excellent. In the centre of the marble floor was the circle from red marble and the pattern in the form of diverging beams. Arrow-like columns from excellently cut stone, the platform covered with white spotless marble, splinters of colored glass, the remains of finely carved eaves testify to the magnificence and skills developed to perfection. Inside the cathedral there are a lot of valuable church utensils and icons”.
Of course, the thousand-year history of the cathedral somewhat changed it. It has been repeatedly restored. The last time it was restored in the 1850s. During the same period the cathedral was transformed into a burial place. The last sovereign prince of Abkhazia Mikhail Chachba-hervashidze, his son George, the poet and public figure, Abkhazian military leaders and others were buried there. In 2002 Mokva Cathedral of Assumption of Virgin Mary opened again after the 300-year break. 30 meters from Mokvsky Cathedral stands the bell tower of later construction.
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