Georgian Ensemble Shavnabada Puts a Georgian Twist on The European Anthem

Shavnabada offered a mesmerizing polyphonic version of the European Anthem. It was sung at the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg.

Video by: Council of Europe

#folk #music #song

Vardzia

Located in South Georgia, Vardzia is a cave monastery complex, that was founded by Queen Tamar in 1185. Originally, the cave city was hidden in Erusheli mountain, but an earthquake in the 13th century exposed the caves. The complex consisted of thirteen levels, six thousand apartments, a throne room, the church of Dormition of the Mother of God and a bell tower. The monastery complex has unique murals and epigraphical monuments, written in old Georgian script Asomtavruli.
Side note: Becoming a nun was not always a voluntary process in Georgian Orthodox Church. Furthermore, often it was a form of punishment. In Vardzia, there is an inscription on the monastery wall, presumably made by a nun. It reads: “I was fourteen, when they made me a nun, I turned seventy fourteen here… Boy, you were so handsome! ”
Today, Vardzia is protected under Georgian Cultural Heritage Preservation National Agency and it’s one of the most visited sites in Georgia.

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Photo by: Kamil Ghais
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The Georgian cross

The cross is the most recognizable symbol of Christianity, but the Georgian cross is not as widely known. Though, the cross is very popular among the Georgian Christians. It has an unusual shape, with slightly dropping horizontal lines. It is often referred as St. Nino’s cross, as it was originally created by her. She preached Christianity in Georgia, what led to Christianization of the kingdom. It is believed, that She created the cross from grapevine and tied the lines, with her own hair. Today, the cross is preserved in Sioni Cathedral, Tbilisi. Since, a grape, a vineyard and a wine are sacred for Georgians, the Georgian cross symbolizes resurrection, rather than death.

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Photo Tamar Khosroshvili
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Untold love story

In 2014, an ancient grave was discovered in Mtskheta. Two skeletons were found in the grave. The right one was 25-30 year old female. Her head rested on the shoulder of 40-45 year old male, and held his hand. According to an anthropologists, they were buried together and possibly one of them was even burred alive. In Ancient times, the deceased were buried, with their personal belongings, however, none were found in this grave. All this caused an allegations and speculations about the couples life and death.
Whatever the case might be, we will never know the truth. We will never know their names and the story. But we know, that even in V-VI century they loved passionately, “till the death do us part” and beyond.

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Photo Keti Digmelashvili

#Mtskheta

Trip to The Trinity Church, Gergeti

Hidden by the spectacular peak of Mount Kazbek, the Holy Trinity Church is unique Georgian sightseeing. The Trinity Church was built in the 14th century. It lays at over 7200 feet above sea level. In times of war, the church served as a safe place to hide the country’s most valuable objects. Later on, religious activities were forbidden by the Soviets, but even so, The Trinity Church was visited by many people every year.
Today, its one of the most visited places in Georgia. Located only just about 130 miles from the capital Tbilisi, Holy Trinity Church is a must see. So, even if you are visiting for just a couple of days, take a tour to Kazbegi and you wont be disappointed.

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Photo mmsug

Most tourists, who choose to visit this place start off in Tbilisi. Usually, the first stop is just in 45 minutes drive away; Ananuri fortress. This 16-17 century building stands by Aragvi river and is surrounded by mountains, so it’s definitely one of the most scenic castles.
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