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Abercromby, John / A trip through the eastern Caucasus

A trip through the eastern Caucasus: chapter I: from Tiflis to Nukha,   pp. [1]-29

Page 22

Leaving these good-natured people when the 
weather cleared, we continued our drive towards the 
head of the valley. The road soon left the water- 
course, and became tolerable enough.   At last the 
church became visible on some rising ground to the 
right. The carriage could go no further, and the last 
quarter of a mile had to be walked. The padre tucked 
up his long outer garments under his arm-presentiDg 
thereby a very comical appearance-and gallantly led 
the way through fields of wet corn up a very clayey, 
slippery acclivity to the summit of the ridge.  A 
short walk brought us panting to the strong wall 
which surrounds the precincts of the church as if it 
were a fortress. Under the ample portico a number 
of men, women, and children were collected. They 
belonged to two or three Armenian families, and were 
friends of both my companions. 
It is customary both with the Georgians and Arme- 
nians to hold an occasional family gathering outside 
a country church, and there to spend the afternoon. 
The lower orders kill a sheep on these occasions, the 
better class bring cooked provisions. 
The plan of the building is oblong, with a small semi- 
circular apse at one end, and at the other end a spacious 
portico, supported on two sides by a row of three wooden 
pillars. A cupola perhaps once rose above the altar, 
but it has now been replaced by a. simpler pointed 
roof. The interior is lit by three very small windows, 
little more than slits; one in the apse, and one in 
each side of the wall that supports the pointed roof. 
Externally the windows are ornamented with a very 

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