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Georgia - Tbilisi and Mtskheta

Discussion in 'Wanderlust and Travel' started by Jimbojack, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. So I decided to post some more photos from Georgia, I'm sure everyone knows about the trouble there right now

    Various pictures from Tbilisi, the Georgian capital

    Kashveti Church. According to legend, the Syrian father Davit Garejeli was accused by a nun of impregnating her. He replied that if that was true, she would give birth to a baby, but if she was lying she would give birth to a stone. She gave birth to a stone, thus giving the name to the church (Kashveti means "Stone Birth")



    Various street photos




    I came upon a small church on the path leading up to Kartlis Deda (Mother Georgia) statue. The church was locked as I passed by it, but a man was working outside. I started talking to him and it turned out he was an artist, and it was his job to repaint the inside of the church. Basili (his name) opened the church for me and showed me how he worked. It turned out he was actually a sculptor (with a fairly negative opinion of the artist who designed the Kartlis Deda statue), but was doing the restoration/painting work at this church at the moment. While we were talking his friend came by and they invited me to drink some wine with them. We went to a small room next to the church and ended up talking for a couple of hours about Georgian culture, religion and politics. All of the things you never talk to strangers about...

    The inside of the church, painted by Basili Zandukeli. This is his completed work..



    Work in progress



    The 2 liter cola bottle actually has wine (we drank most of it). While drinking, we ate a loaf of bread with salt (the traditional way)


    Somewhat buzzed from the wine, I continued going up to the Kartlis Deda statue. Here is a view of Tbilisi from the trail


    Kartlis Deda (Mother Georgia) statue. A 20 meter tall aluminum woman, the statue was created in the early 1960's and is a metaphor for the Georgian character. Holding a cup of wine and a sword, it warmly welcomes guess and fiercely fights off enemies.


    Another view of Tbilisi


    Tsminda Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral. The biggest cathedral in the Caucasus, it is somewhat controversial as it was built upon an old Armenian cemetery.










    Mtskheta is the spiritual heart of Georgia. Located at the confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, it was here that Christianity was adopted as a state religion in 337 (Georgia was the second country to adopt Christianity as a state religion, 36 years after Armenia). Some of the oldest and most important churches in Georgia are located here.

    The old Mtskheta museum building, it was recently relocated


    Samtavro church, built in the 1130's it was the former residence of the lords of Mtskheta, now it is used as a nunnery.




    Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedra, built in the 11th century. According to tradition, Christ's robe was buried here. Elioz, a Georgian Jew, was in Jerusalem during the time of the crucifixion and brought the robe back to Mtskheta. His sister Sedonia received the robe from him and immediately died in a passion of faith. Nobody was able to take the robe away from her hands, so they were buried together and a tree grew on their grave. While building the first church at this location, the builders cut through the trunk of the tree but it did not fall. St. Nino came to pray at the site and as a result the tree became whole again, blossomed and started producing healing oil. The church received the name Sveti-Tskhoveli, meaning "life-giving column".

    The first church here was built in the 4th century, it was replaced in the 6th century by a stone structure built by King Vakhtang Gorgasali. The building standing today was constructed between 1010 and 1029 on the orders of patriarch Melkhisedek. It was damaged in the 14th century by the forces of Tamerlane and restored in the 15th. The defensive wall around the site was added in the 18th century.







    I hope you enjoy these photos, I'll post a series from Azerbaijan next.

    Here is my page with more photos from Georgia:
  2. Interesting series and thanks too for the narrative.
  3. Excellent series, a beautiful and rich part of the world. Too bad about the going ons at the moment.

    I find the black Madonna and Christ unusual, but I did see a similar black Madonna and Christ in a Church in Provence.

    Great photography and narrative as well.
  4. Thanks! I enjoyed the photographs and the history. I find the Sveti-Tskhoveli Cathedral intriguing.
  5. phillip,
    this is an awesome thread
    incredible images
    wonderful narrative

    i really appreciate you sharing all of this with us

    i guess you wonder what, if any of this, has been destroyed in the recent "conflict"
  6. great shots!
  7. beautiful and timely
  8. nancyr


    Feb 14, 2006
    La Jolla, CA
    Very nice. Thank you.
  9. Thanks for showing us these - I'd love to travel to Georgia at some point.
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