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Most visited sights of Georgia: Historic and Architectural Monuments

 

Alaverdi - historic and architectural complex situated on the banks of the Alazani River, covered with woods. An immense cathedral was built in the XI c. that still retains the frescoes of the later period. The interior of the cathedral is amazing, especially its dimensions and the vertical streaming lines that convey the feeling of elation.

 

 


 

Ananuri architectural complex belonged to the house of the Eristavi of Aragvi - a violent local ruler. The characteristic architectural design of the late medieval period includes a fortress, two churches, an old watch tower, prison and civic buildings. Located on the famous Georgian Military Highway it stood as a guardian to the Northern boarders of Georgia. A picturesque view of reservoir spread bellow opens from the base of the Ananuri Fortress.

 


 

The Temple of Bagrati is one of the most important monuments that represent early Georgian architecture, was built by King Bagrat III in Kutaisi, in 1003 AD.

 

 

 



 

Bolnisi Sioni is the most prominent architectural masterpiece of the 5th c. in Georgia. This exemplary basilica with three naves preserves the samples of the oldest inscriptions in written Georgian language.

 

 

 


 


David Gareja
  Monastery includes 16 smaller complexes among which the oldest is called David's Lavra (6th c.). In the Middle Ages a famed art school flourished here influencing the development of graphic art.

 

 

 


 

Dmanisi: In 2004, during the excavations in Dmanisi, a human scull was discovered there which proved to be the oldest human remains ever found on the territory of Europe. This fact shifted the period of the first human inhabitants on the continent to the "date? of 1.8 million years ago, rendering Dmanisi as the "birthplace of the first Europeans".


 


 

The monastery complex of Gelati (11th c.) is among the most remarkable examples of Georgian architecture. It was founded by King of Georgia, David Aghmashenebeli (The Builder). The Gelati complex implied also Gelati Academy, famed as an educational centre even beyond the borders of Georgia; an amazing mosaic in the altar of the main temple is extraordinary and unique.

 


 


 

Gergeti Trinity Church - situated in the region of Stephantsminda (former Kazbegi), at the foot of the peak Mkinvartsveri (5047 m. above sea level). Compared to all the churches in Europe built in the alpine zone, Gergeti Trinity occupies the highest point and place (2400m).

 

 

 

 


 

Gonio Fortress - adorned by its 18 towers, the fortress is noted for its fancy brickwork. It is located to the south of the city of Batumi. The excavations revealed an archaeological layer, which dates back to the 17th c. BC. the burial places found there, are of later origin (5 c. AD). Gonio Fortress is proclaimed a museum-preserve of particular importance.

 

 


 

 

Gremi - architectural complex of 16th -17th cc was built by King Levan and Queen Ketevan on a rocky hill. In the 16th c Gremi was the capital of Kakheti Kingdom, but all that remains of the former town are some ruins of a market, baths, caravanserai and a palace.

 

 


 

 

Jvari is a masterpiece of the early Medieval Period. It stands on a mountain opposite the ancient city of Mtskheta. St. Nino erected the first wooden cross at the site. Its pedestal can still be seen in the centre of the church.

 

 


 

Gurjaanis Kvelatsminda - The Church of the Dormition of the Virgin is situated in a forest, two kilometers from the town of Gurjaani. This church is a unique example of twin-domed architecture in Georgia. The complex was destroyed by invaders, and rebuilt and repaired several times by local nobles and Georgian kings.

 

 


 

Metekhi Church, was built in 1289 by King Demetre II, although the former church stood here already in 5th century. In 12th century royal palace was moved near the church, the name "Metekhi" may be translated as "the area near palace". The Church was destroyed and later repaired several times. Under Russian rule the site was the home of the infamous Metekhi jail.

 

 



Narikala fortress
or Shuris Tsikhe - the Rival Fortress, is the ancient site of Tbilisi built by Arabs in 4th c. Much of what we see today, dates from 8th c. With its unique strategic location both local rulers and foreign invaders looked to make Narikala their headquarters. The Shakhtakhti Tower was built as an observatory. Archaelogical research in 1967 revealed that there was a twelfth century church inside the Narikala complex. The church was rebuilt in 1996 and designed in keeping with the fortress surrounding it. The interior is decorated with frescoes, depicting both biblical scenes and the history of Georgia.

 


 

Nekresi monastery complex in Kakheti region with a beautiful view of the Alazani valley was founded by St. Abibo Nekreseli, one of the Thirteen Syrian monks who came to Georgia in the 6th century to strengthen Christian faith. But already in the 4th century one of the first Christian churches was built here. The oldest church is a tiny basilica with the open arches in the facade to conduct service from outside. The main church of Assumption of the Virgin was built in 6-7th cc.


 




 

Nikortsminda - domed cathedral was built in 1010-1014 by King Bagrat III in the hilly region of Racha. Nikortsminda is remarkable for its exterior stone carvings. Each part of the design is related to the theme of divine greatness of Christ. The monument is a masterpiece of its period.

 

 



Shio-Mgvime
monastery complex was founded in the 6th century by St. Shio, (one of the Thirteen Syrian Fathers). After having a dream, he chose to live in a dark isolated cave near a 6th century church north-west of the ancient city of Mtskheta. His grave is still visible there today. In 11th century, a church was built over Shio's tomb. Another church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, was erected by King David the builder. The refectory was built in 12t century.

 



Shuamta 
- The term "Shuamta" means "a place between mountains". The Shuamta complex consists of two sites: The Old and the New Shuamta. In the Old Shuamta complex boasts three churches, several chapels and ruins of human dwellings. It is an excellent example of Georgian early Christian architecture. The main church is a three-nave basilica built in 6th century. There are also two tetra-conch cupola churches built in 7th century. In one of them the remains of mural paintings can still be seen. The site was abandoned in the 14th century.

 


 

Svetitskhoveli - which may be translated as "The Life-giving pillar", is the main church of Mtskheta and a sacred place where the robe of Christ is being kept. An enormous cedar tree grew on a place where Christ's robe was buried. The place was chosen as a site for the future church. The branches of This magic tree served for constructed pillars. This bright example of Georgian renaissance architecture was erected by architect Arsukidze in 11th c, in the place where the first church in Georgia once stood in the 4th c.

 


 

Uplistsikhe is the oldest historic and architectural complex in Georgia, built in the 7th c. BC. Like Vardzia, it is also cut out of the rock. Situated in the vicinity of the town of Gori, the complex boasts a number of stone halls, antique theatre and pagan shrines. Some parts of interior are decorated with ornaments.

 

 



Ushguli
- This architecturally unique Middle Age village-fortification is situated 2200 m above see level, and is the highest permanently inhabited village in Europe. Surrounded by the giant snow capped mountains, it lies below mount Chkhara (5200), one of the highest, and most beautiful on the Georgian part of the Caucasus range. Ushguli is a complex of watch-towers, dwelling-houses and ancient one-nave basilicas with impressive mural paintings. There is a belief that the ruins of Queen Tamar's fortress may be a secret burial place of this glorious queen so much beloved and venerated by Georgians.

 

 
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