About Sights – Davit Gareja

Founded in the 6th century by St. David Garejeli, Davit Gareja (Georgian: დავითგარეჯის სამონასტრო კომპლექსი) is a Georgian Orthodox monastery complex located on the slopes of Mount Gareja in the Kakheti region of eastern Georgia. The complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock. Part of the … Continue reading

About Sights – Martvili Monastery

Martvili Monastery (Georgian: მარტვილის მონასტერი) is a monastic complex located in the village of Martvili in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region. The hill on which it stands was a former pagan site associated with fertility and prosperity. The Martvili-Chkondidi Cathedral was constructed in the late 7th century on top of the roots of an enormous oak tree … Continue reading

About Sights – Tbilisi Sioni Cathedral

The Sioni Cathedral of the Dormition (Georgian: სიონის ღვთისმშობლის მიძინების ტაძარი) in Tbilisi was originally built in the 6th and 7th centuries but was subsequently destroyed by foreign invaders and reconstructed several times. The current church is based on a 13th-century version. Named after Mount Zion at Jerusalem, it is commonly known as the “Tbilisi … Continue reading

About Sights – Kutaisi Botanical Garden in Autumn

The Kutaisi Botanical Garden (Georgian: ქუთაისის ბოტანიკური ბაღი) in the city of Kutaisi (Georgian: ქუთაისი) in Georgia’s Imereti region was established in the mid-19th century and contains about 700 plant species of trees and shrubs. After the National Botanical Garden of Georgia in Tbilisi the Kutaisi Botanical Garden is the second of the earliest botanic … Continue reading

About Sights – Vanis Kvabebi Cave Monastery

Vanis Kvabebi (Georgian: ვანის ქვაბები) is a cave monastery in Samtskhe-Javakheti region near the more famous cave city of Vardzia. Begun in the eighth century, the monastery complex consists of 16 levels of cells, storerooms and stair tunnels.  There are two churches in the complex, including a small domed church that clings to the rock … Continue reading

About Sights – Tsalenjikha Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Savior

Built in the 12th-14th centuries, the Tsalenjikha Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Savior (Georgian: წალენჯიხის მაცხოვრის ფერისცვალების საკათედრო ტაძარი) is located in the town of Tsalenjikha (Georgian: წალენჯიხა) in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region. The cathedral is a central cross-domed church with a narthex (an entrance or lobby area typical of early Christian and Byzantine churches) … Continue reading

About Sights – Church of the Virgin Mary in Birkiani

The Georgian Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in the village of Birkiani in Akhmeta municipality in Georgia’s Kakheti region was built in the 8th-9th century but has decayed over time and little remains of the original stone construction. Trees have grown on top of the church making it look like it was purposely built in … Continue reading

About Achievements – Restoration of Kvetera Church

Kvetera Church (Georgian: კვეტერის ეკლესია) is located on the top of a hill within the remaining fragments of the walls of Kvetera Fortress near the town of Akhmeta, in Kakheti region. Built in the early part of the 10th century, it is a relatively small church built of local tuffa stone to a tetraconch design (four-apse cross … Continue reading

About Sights – Dzveli Shuamta Monastery

Dzveli (“old”) Shuamta Monastery is located in a small clearing in the middle of a deciduous forest on Tsivgombori Mountain near the city of Telavi in Kakheti region. The Monastery got its name because of its location – “Shuamta’’ means ‘among the mountains’. Prior to their recent restoration, the churches were in a state of neglect. … Continue reading

About Sights – Alaverdi Cathedral

Alaverdi Monastery (Georgian: ალავერდის მონასტერი) is a Georgian Orthodox monastery located near Telavi in the Alazani-River valley in Kakheti region. Founded by the Assyrian monk Joseph Alaverdeli, the monastery dates to the 6th century but the present day cathedral replaces a smaller church and was built in the 11th century by Kvirike III of Kakheti. … Continue reading

About Sights – Jvari Monastery

Built in the 6th century, Jvari Monastery (Georgian: ჯვარი, ჯვრის მონასტერი) stands on a mountaintop at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking Mtskheta, the former capital of Georgia. The monastery was built on the site of a large wooden cross erected by Saint Nino (Georgian: წმინდა ნინო) in the early 4th century. … Continue reading

About History – Conservation of the Gelati Frescos

Gelati (Georgian: გელათის მონასტერი) is a monastic complex near the city of Kutaisi in the Imereti region of western Georgia. The Monastery is among the most important cultural landmarks of Georgia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex contains the Church of the Virgin founded by David the Builder (Georgian: დავით აღმაშენებელი) in … Continue reading

About Sights – The Orta Mosque in Batumi

The Orta Mosque (Georgian: ორთა ჯამე) in the city of Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast was commissioned by Aslan Beg Khimshiashvili, a Muslim Georgian nobleman in 1886, and is one of the finest examples of Islamic art in Ajara. The mosque is popularly known as the “Jamia in the middle” for it once stood in … Continue reading

About History – Early Photographs of St. David’s Church in Tbilisi

St. David’s Church (Mamadaviti) is located on the slope of Mount Mtatsminda (Geo. მთაწმინდა, meaning the Holy Mountain) in Tbilisi. The church is named after St. Davit Gareji, a Syrian priest who helped spread Christianity in Georgia in the 6th century and lived in a small cell where the church is now located. Each week, … Continue reading

About Sights – Samtavisi Cathedral

Samtavisi (Georgian: სამთავისი) is an eleventh-century Georgian Orthodox cathedral in the region of Shida Kartli. Heavily damaged by a series of earthquakes, the cathedral was partially reconstructed in the 15th and 19th centuries. Built in 1030 by the architect Ilarion Samtavneli, the cathedral is remarkable for the beauty of its proportions and refinement of carving on the … Continue reading

About Sights – 19th Century Mosques in Ajara

Ajara (Georgian: აჭარა) is an autonomous republic of Georgia located in the southwestern corner of the country, bordered by Turkey to the south and the eastern end of the Black Sea. According to 2006 estimates by the Department of Statistics of Ajara, 30% of Ajara’s population are Muslim. Islam spread to Ajara as a consequence of the Ottoman Empire’s occupation … Continue reading