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Cultural Monuments of Georgia

       

 

 

       

Tbilisi Old Town 

  • Tbilisi a capital and the largest city in Georgia with 1.3 ml population. The city became the capital of Georgian kingdom Kartli (Iberia) in 5th century. The city’s name literally comes Georgian word Tbilisi, which means “warm”, a clear reference to hot waters that can be found in the old districts of Tbilisi. Since 5th century, Tbilisi was the most significant political centre of Georgia. However, the city was occupied by different imperial powers in different time periods. Tbilisi was conquered and occupied by Arab Caliphate in 7-11 centuries, by Mongols in 13th c, by Persians and Otomans in late middle ages, by Russians in 19th century. Because of this reason, the culture, architecture and traditions of Tbilisi reflects many different cultural traits. Here can be found Sulphur baths with Iranian and Arabic decorations, Armenian churches and houses, Catholic church, Mosque, Georgian Orthodox churches, Modern European districts and Old Soviet architecture. Along its history, Tbilisi is also culture vibrant centre, which hosts on of the best clubs, restaurants and hotels in all Caucasus.

  • For visiting Tbilisi, please see following one of our Georgia sightseeing tours: City Tour in Tbilisi. 

   UNESCO World Heritage Sites –Mtskheta Town, Jvari, Svetitskhoveli

 


  • The Historical Monuments of Mtskheta are located in the cultural landscape at the confluence of the Aragvi and Mtkvari Rivers, in Central-Eastern Georgia, 20km northwest of Tbilisi in Mtskheta. The property consists of the Jvari Monastery, the Svetitstkhoveli Cathedral and the Samtavro Monastery. Mtskheta was the ancient capital of Kartli, the East Georgian Kingdom from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD, and was also the location where Christianity was proclaimed as the official religion of Georgia in 337. To date, it remains the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.  Jvari monastery was built in 6th century and was the first "four-apsed church with four niches" domed tetraconch. Svetiskhoveli cathedral history dates back to 1st century when local Jews brought and buried Christ's mantle. Later in 4th century, when Christianity was proclaimed as state religion of Georgian kingdom Kartli, here was built first wooden church. It was replaced later by three-storey basilica. After the destruction and damage by foreign invaders and earthquakes, the basilica was so damaged that on its place, Modern Cross-Dome Svetitskhoveli cathedral was built in 11th century. The cathedral was also a place where coronation of Georgian kings used to take place. It was also a burial place of Georgian kings. In 19th century, frescoes was whitewashed by the Russians and in Soviet Union the church was closed. Only in 1990s, when Georgia became an independent country, the church restored its service and start functioning normally.   

  • For visiting Mtskheta with  Jvari and Svetitskhoveli, please see one of our Georgia sightseeing tours::Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe Tour 

      Uplistsikhe Cave Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Uplistsikhe is the ancient cave complex built in X-VI centuries BC. In its development peak, the cave complex included 700 carved caves. The name comes from Georgian words literally mean in English “Lord’s fortress”.  Uplistsikhe was both centre of secular political centre as well as religious pagan centre. When Georgia became Christian country, its significant decline, but arose again when Tbilisi was conqured by Arab Caliphate. From here, Georgian kings ravaged wars against foreign invaders. However, after liberation of Tbilisi, Uplistsikhe reduced to minor fortress and later destroyed by the Mongol invasions in 13th century. In late middle ages, Uplistsikhe was almost abandoned and forgotten by everyone. Only in 20th century, its significant as an archeological site and culture heritage was recognized by the government. Today it is a cave-museum which can be visited anytime in working hours.

  • For visiting Uplistsikhe along with Stalin’s museum in Gori, please see one of our Georgia sightseeing tours:Mtskheta, Gori & Uplistsikhe Tour 

 

       David Gareja Monastery complex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • David Gareja Monastery complex is a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex located 70 south-east of Tbilisi, in Kakheti region. The complex have united  at least 19 monasteries built in different periods of times, but the oldest one is Lavra monastery. The complex was founded by Assyrian father David Garejeli in VI century. In the same century, his pupils, Lukiane and Dodo, founded other two monasteries – Natlismcemeli and Dodos Rqa respectively.  In later centuries, the complex was grown, new monasteries were carved in rocks, new pools and water reservoirs were built. David Gareja Monastery complex had achieved its peak of development in 11-13th centuries, but after United Georgian kingdom dissolved, David Gareja monastery declined. It was plundered and destroyed by Mongols in 13th century and especially in 1615 when Abbas I of Persia destroyed and slauthered more than 6000 thousand monks in David Gareja. Later it was almost abandoned, while a great damages was caused in 20th century due to Soviet Military training in the area. Since 1991, David Gareja monastery complex has been revived by monks. Today you can explore only two monasteries out of 19: Lavra and Udabno.

  • For visiting David Gareja monastery complex, please see one of our tours in Georgia Country: David Gareja and Signagi Tour (1 day)Wine and Cultural Tour in Kakheti (2days)

      Kutaisi, Gelati Monastery and Bagrati Cathedral

 

  • Kutaisi is one of the ancient town. Its history dates back to 3500 years ago, when it was once a capital of Colchis kingdom. According to Argonauts legend, Argonauts headed by Jason came to this city to take a golden fleece. Kutaisi was also a capital of Western Georgian Kingdom in 8-12 centuries as well as in late middle ages. Here on the top of the city stands Bagrati cathedral for more than thousand years. It was built in 11th century by the King Bagrat III and was named as the Cathedral of the Dormition. However, people just call Bagrati cathedral. It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites with Gelati monastery but later due to contested restoration works, was removed from the list. Another significant culture site near Kutaisi is Gelati monastery. A masterpiece of mediaeval Georgia with beautiful frescoes and architecture gives this site spectacular image. Gelati monastery unites three main churches, bellower, academy and defensive walls. On this place can be found almost all kings of United Georgian Kingdom included the greatest King of Georgia David IV the Builder.

  • For visiting David Gareja monastery complex, please see one of our tours in Georgia Country: Tour to Western Georgia: Cultural Heritage and Canyons

Georgia is very rich of cultural monuments. Here you can find unique Georgian style churches, ancient and medieval fortress and cities, towns and monasteries carved in rocks. However, there is a following must list of monuments that you should visit.