Oskvank - Oshki Monastery & Church The Oshki Oskvank Monastery, located in the village of Çamlıyamaç in present-day Erzurum province, was built in the historic province of Tao during the latter half of the 10th century. The monastery's main church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was constructed between 963 and 973. In the Middle Ages, Oshki Monastery was an important center for Georgian literature and culture, and it is considered to be "one of the largest and most architecturally advanced structures ever created in the Eastern Christian world." The construction of the monastery at Oshki was sponsored by Grand Duke/King Bagrat II of Tao and David III of Tao. The decorative blind arches are a key feature of the monastery's design. They extend over the outer walls along the eastern, southern, and northern sides of the church in Oshki, and they are a fine example of early-period decorative blind arches on facades. The blind arches follow the architectural rhythm for most of the facade and are adorned with bas-reliefs at the center. The main facade of the Oshki church, which is the southern facade, features bas-reliefs with high reliefs placed in the central position above the central arch. These bas-reliefs stand out from the flat surface and depict an eagle with a beast in its talons, likely symbolizing victory, and the triumph of heavenly forces embodied by archangels Michael and Gabriel. The Bagrationi dynasty, which ruled the province of Tao, had hereditary members known as Bagrat eristavi and David magistros who were the family's patrons and represented heavenly powers. The figures of the archangels are elegant in form and proportion, with a sense of free movement that departs from the static postures seen in previous donor portraits. This style is also evident in the close three-dimensional renderings of the deesis on the southern facade's near side and a column in the southern gallery. The Oshki church's elaborate decoration features low reliefs, which are characteristic of the transitional period in Georgian art (8th - 10th centuries), when old ways were not yet completely replaced by new methods. It is likely that the church was built over generations of sculptors who gradually incorporated new techniques. The Oshki church's style already shows characteristics that would eventually emerge in the 11th century.