AFG’s work to preserve an important architectural, cultural and historic landmark was successfully completed in 2019. Queen Daredjan’s Palace Complex holds a significant place in Georgian history because it is the last remaining Royal palace in Tbilisi and it was the home of the last true king and queen of Georgia. It is the main architectural jewel of Tbilisi and its prominence in the landscape with its round carved wooden balcony earned it the nickname Sachino, meaning eminent. The complex is made up of Queen Daredjan’s palace (built in 1776), the wall of the fortress surrounding medieval Tbilisi, and Transfiguration Church and Convent. Queen Daredjan, wife of King Erekle II, chose the site for her palace on Metekhi Hill because it was visible from many parts of the surrounding countryside. In 2014, structural issues related to groundwater under the site posed a continuing threat to the foundations and walls of the structures including cracks in the walls of the Complex’s church threatening its frescoes.

 

What & How

This all started in 2014 when Peg Breen, President of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, met with Lena Kiladze, Executive Director of AFG in Georgia, about this endangered cultural heritage site. In 2016, Peg Breen’s assistance led to the support of two leading US engineers traveling to Tbilisi to do a geotechnical and structural engineering survey of the complex resulting in a grant by the Ford Foundation to restore the church frescoes in Queen Daredjan’s Palace Complex’s church, which was carried out by ICOMOS Georgia. In 2018, AFG started intensive work meetings with the National Agency of Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia, to do reinforcement and reconstruction work on the entire site under the Tbilisi Development Fund to preserve Queen Daredjan’s Palace Complex for the Georgian people. In 2019, this was successfully completed as well as the conservation of the frescoes in the Complex’s church.