Political situation in Transitional Period is rather complicated. The Arabs rule the country and its capital-Tbilisi is the residence of Arabian Vice-Roy – the Amir. This was the basic reason why the essential cultural forces fled to peripheries.
Three new ethnically Georgian states were established on the territory of Georgia in the turn of VIII-IX cc, The Abkhazian Kingdome comprising the entire western Georgia, Grand Principality of Kakheti in the east and Grand Principality of Tao-Klarjeti, -later transformed into the Kingdome that included south-Georgian historical provinces of Samtskhe, Javakheti, Achara, Shavsgeti, Klarjeti, Tao, Oltisi and several others.
In early IX c Kurapalate Ashot (late in 826) restored the city of Artanuji. Several others that had been almost diminished built-up areas until the period in question were transformed into rather large cities the most important of which were as follows: Dmanisi, Akhalkalaki of Javakheti, Tmogvi, Oltisi, Akhaltsikhe and Telavi. The restoration of the ancient city of Kutaisi coincides with those times. As for Tbilisi, it always had remained the most important town of the whole Transcaucasia.
The monastic brotherhood established in the closing decades of VIII c by the great Georgian spiritual leader St. Grigol Khandzteli (Gregory of Khandzta) (759-861) had enormous influence over the south Georgian Kingdome of Tao-Klarjeti. The brotherhood headed by this great personality and his disciples established monasteries of Khandzta, Jmerki, Daba, Midznadzori, Gunatle, Tskarostavi, Baretelta and restored abandoned monasteries of Bana, Ishkhani, Opiza, Ancha.
All these monasteries became the important safe heavens of culture and literacy so much that original Georgian literature of IX-X cc is almost totally linked to the Tao-Klarjeti monasteries listed above. Alongside to original works intense translating activity was launched by the clergy, and rather different local school of mural painting was established as well, coupled with production of the considerable amount of noteworthy samples of calligraphic art, miniature and gold-work.
VIII and IX centuries, generally being the period of artistic reaches, of setting up and solving of various inventive purposes and aims are distinguished for the exisistance of numerous “experimental” monuments. Several types of domed churches, basilicas and single-vane churches were built in those times together with tri-conch (Telovani, VIII c) and triple-church domed structures (domed church of Nekresi Monastery, turn of VIII-IX c), cupplehalle- a single nave structure with a dome (Tsirkoli, VIII c, Ksani Armazi, 864), mixture of cuppelhalle, tri-conch and triple-church basilica (Vachnadziani All Saints church, turn of VIII-IX cc ), two –dome basilica (Gurjaani All the Saints church, VIII-IX cc), several variations of tetra-conch configuration (Dranda, VII-VIII cc, Chamkhusi, IX c), Six-apse configuration churches (Oltisi, Goguba, Bochorma and Katskhi all built in X c), eight-apse configuration church (Taoskari, Xc), basilica (Alvani “Tskrakara” church, VIII-IX cc, Zedazeni, VIIIc, Akura Mamadaviti, 855), tri-church basilica (Ambara, VIIIc, Nedzvi, IX c), tri-church basilica with lateral conservatories (Eredvi, 906), single nave church (Alandza, VIII-IX cc). Even though yet in seminal conditions, the tendencies towards creation of the picturesque and decorative stiles are noticeable.