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Sachino Palace

The stairs on the left side of the Metekhi slope (behind the church and across the street) climb to the Avlabar Heights and the summer palace of Queen Darejan, wife of King Herekle II. The 200-year-old palace was built of stones and bricks that had been used in the earlier construction of the Avlabari fortress. All that remain today are the fortress walls and a tower encircled by a wooden balcony. The view from here of the right bank of the Mtkvari (Kura) is superb.

Sachino in Georgian means "eminent", "noble" and refers to the lofty position of the Queen's abode. The palace was built in 1776 on one of the foundations of Avlabar fortress wall and was distinguished among other buildings. It is seen from many places of the Mtkvari gorge. The name itself conveys the dominating location of the palace. It represents a castlemansion with a church and court services. The major part of it like a round tower is at the end of the abyss. By its perimeter the tower is embraced by a round wooden balcony. The palace, church and other buildings create a united complex. The church has been preserved till the present time. The palace was erected on the ruins of the fortress. The tower of the mansion was built on the remnants of the northern angle of Avlabari fortress wall. The wall and its counterforts are made from mixed cobble and thin, square, the so called Georgian brickwork. Horizontal and vertical strips formed by ribs of closely laid (45 degree angle) cobble create the illusion of a twisted plait, grape vine - an ornament which is often met in ornaments of Georgian carving on wood and stone. After departure of the Queen to Saint-Petersburg in 1807 Transfiguration Monastery was established here (1822), and in 1862 it housed a school and a seminary for children of ecclesiastics. Redecoration of internal rooms, removal of ornaments on walls and ceilings, performed in the eastern style, can be referred to that time. In 1982 fundamental reconstruction of Sachino was completed. Today the convent Peristsvaleba (the Transfiguration) is in this place.

Nearby, within the precincts of Sachino, is a palace chapel constructed in 1776 and consecrated as the Church of the Transfiguration. Services are still conducted here. The interior frescoes are from the early 20th century and are not particularly distinctive.