Katskhi pillar

In modern day Georgia a monk of the Orthodox Church, Fr. Maxim, is restoring with aid from local villagers a small 1200 year old monastic chapel on top of Katskhi Pillar. The pillar is a natural rock formation jutting upwards from the ground to a height of approximately one hundred forty feet. It was known to be used by stylites as late as the 15th century when foreign occupation by the Islamic Ottoman Empire brought an end to the practice. Upon completion Fr. Maxim hopes to take up residence on top of Katskhi as a stylite monk.

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Chiatura in Photos and Animations by François Beaurain

French photographer François Beaurain visited the small town of Chiatura back in 2014. He brought back the essence of the town, captured in photographs and animations.
“Chiatura is located in western Georgia and is well known for its huge manganese deposit and its extensive cable car network transporting miners and ore up and down the valley. All the infrastucture was built during the soviet times and has been barely refurbished since. Chiatura seems trapped in time, like the workers who are also trapped to their machines, endlessly repeating the same gesture.”
Visit his website to see more works.

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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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The ancient cave town Uplistsikhe

Located just an hour away from the Georgian capital Tbilisi, Uplistsikhe fortress is one of the ancient cave towns in Georgia. Uplistsikhe is translated as “Lord’s fortress”. However, in pagan times Uplos was the local tribal leader and it is thought, that he built the fortress; as a demonstration of power. So, it has nothing to do with religion. According to the legend, the city was built by slaves. Their axes were made of half iron and half gold. So, if a slave worked hard and his axe’s iron was worn-out, he was gifted the gold and freedom.

The city consists of a diverse architecture, dating from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages. And like in any other town, there were variety of buildings for religious, social, governmental and other uses. So, Uplistsikhe was a major religious, political and cultural center.

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Photo by Badri Vadachkoria

Georgia is often called the cradle of wine. So there is no surprise, that plenty of remains of Kvevri can be seen in Uplistsikhe. Locals explain the reason behind it. Apparently, when a baby was born, a family would fill up a new Kvevry with a wine and bury it. Then, when a child turned 16, family would donate kvevri full of wine to the church. In 9th century, St. George’s Byzantine-style basilica was built on the rock, without any foundation. It survived multiple earthquakes and it is fully functioning today. Archaeological excavations in Uplistsikhe revealed many unique items, which are displayed in the National Art Museum of Georgia.

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Dzama Gorge

Located on the northern slope of Trialeti mountain, Dzama gorge is just 100 miles away from Tbilisi. The gorge is home to 50 cultural heritage monuments. They include: old and new churches, monasteries, fortresses and towers. Last but not least, beautiful Bateti Lake is also located on Dzama gorge. Whether taking an SUV tour, or hiking, this place is worth visiting year round.

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