Ancient Orthodox church restoration begins in South Ossetia

Khetagurovo, July 5, 2024

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In the village of Khetagurovo in the Republic of South Ossetia, the local church dedicated to the Nativity of the Theotokos, built in the 14th century, will be restored for the first time in over 30 years.

The first phase of restoration should be completed by the church’s feast day, which is September 21 of this year, Fr. Simon of the Alanian Diocese told TASS new agency.

“We are carrying out the interior wall finishing of the church, completing the plastering, then the final spackling, and we will finish all the work by September 21—the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos. We have everything necessary—materials, specialists—to fully prepare the walls for painting,” said Fr. Simon.

In the second phase of work, which according to the Fr. Simon will begin in 2025, the church walls will be painted.

“Since this work is labor-intensive and more expensive, we have postponed it till next year,” Fr. Simon clarified, noting that the reconstruction is being funded by the diocese and donations.

A representative of the Alanian Diocese also reported that in 2020, the church’s roof was replaced—the tiles were completely renewed, and then the drum was restored.

In turn, the Ministry of Culture of South Ossetia told the agency that the last restoration work in the church was carried out in 1990, when the roof was restored and the walls plastered inside with funds from local residents.

However, a full restoration of the church, according to a representative of the republic’s Ministry of Culture, was conducted a long time ago, in 1887, as noted by the inscription above the western entrance to the church.


South Ossetia is part of the multi-ethnic Caucasus Mountain region. Although it has declared itself an independent republic, the Orthodox Church in South Ossetia falls under the jurisdiction of the Alanian Diocese, which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church. This diocese oversees the religious activities and the administration of Orthodox parishes in the region. The Orthodox Church is a central part of Ossetian culture.


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