Batumi – The capital of Adjara is
located on the south-eastern coast of the Black Sea, with more than
135 000 population. Batumi is important transport, tourism and
cultural centre. The city is served by the airport, marine, railway
and auto stations.
One of the beautiful recreational and cultural coastal park of the
Black Sea is Beauty of Batumi – with colorful musical fountain,
tennis places, summer cafe-bars. The hotels are placed in the
central part of the city.
Davit Gareja Caved Monastery
David Gareja Cave Monastery was founded in the 6th century by
David, one of the 13 Syrian Fathers who preached Christianity to
the Georgian people. The complex is located in the semi-desert and
consists of 19 monasteries. The most ancient is Lavra Monastery
holding the tomb of Father David, while the painted caves of Udabno
Monastery look out over a starkly beautiful landscape of striated
valleys and windswept ridges giving stunning views over to
Bagrati Cathedral (11th century) was the tallest church in Georgia
(57m) until an explosion in the 17th century reduced it to
picturesque ruins. Even in its ruined state, you can’t help but
admire the stately grandeur of this lofty cathedral as it gazes
down upon the city of Kutaisi.
Uplistsikhe is the oldest cave town in
Georgia. Back in the second millennium BC it was a flourishing city
situated on the great east-west trade route, the Silk Road.
Visitors can still walk among the ancient streets, rock-carved
theatre, royal halls and pharmacy, while the remains of granaries
and large clay wine vessels give us some clue as to the daily life
of the inhabitants.
Jvari Monastery - Jvari or
Jvari Monastery is a Georgian Orthodox monastery of the 6th century
near Mtskheta (World Heritage site), Mtskheta-Mtianeti region,
eastern Georgia. The name is translated as the Monastery of the
Cross. For another, Jerusalem-located Georgian monastery with the
same name, see Monastery of the Cross.
Jvari Monastery stands on the rocky mountaintop at the confluence
of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers, overlooking the village of
Mtskheta, which was formerly the capital of the Kingdom of
According to traditional accounts, on this location in the early
4th century Saint Nino, a female evangelist credited with
converting King Mirian III of Iberia to Christianity, erected a
large wooden cross on the site of a pagan temple. The cross was
reportedly able to work miracles and therefore drew pilgrims from
all over Caucasus. A small church was erected over the remnants of
the wooden cross in c.545 named the “Small Church of Jvari”.
The present building, or “Great Church of Jvari”, was built between
586 and 605 by Erismtavari Stepanoz I. The importance of Jvari
complex increased over time and attracted many pilgrims. In the
late Middle Ages, the complex was fortified by a stone wall and
gate, remnants of which still survive. During the Soviet period,
the structure was largely ignored, with access rendered difficult
by tight security at a nearby military base. After the independence
of Georgia, the building was restored to active religious use.
Jvari was listed together with other monuments of Mtskheta in 1996
as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Jvari church is a very early tetraconch (i.e. a four-apse domed
building) structure. Between the apses there are three-quarter
circular niches used as side chapels, which communicate with the
central space. The transition from the square bay to the dome
circle is effected through three rows of squinches. This design had
a great impact on the further development of Georgian architecture
and served as a model for many other churches not only in Georgia,
but the whole region of South Caucasus.
Varied bas-relief sculptures with Hellenistic and Sasanian
influences decorate its external facades, some of which are
accompanied by explanatory inscriptions in Georgian Asomtavruli
script. The entrance’s tympanum on the southern facade, is adorned
with a relief of the Glorification of the Cross, and the same
facade also shows an Ascension of Christ.
Nikortsminda - Nikortsminda was built in 1010-1014 during the reign
of Bagrat III of Georgia and was repaired in 1634 by the King
Bagrat III of Imereti. Three-storied bell-tower next to the
Cathedral was built in the second half of the 19th century.
Frescoes inside the Cathedral date from the 17th century.
The Cathedral is on the Tentative List for status as a UNESCO World
Stylistically, Nikortsminda reflects the Georgian cross-dome style
Nikortsminda has a massive dome and has unbroken arcatures as its
twelve windows, which are decorated with ornamented
The Cathedral has a form of five apses from inside and the massive
dome rest of the on the half-pillar shaped apse projections. The
transition to the dome circle is affected by means of pendentives.
Altar apse bema and the western passage make the space greater
inside. Interior is decorated with frescoes from the 17th century
and the rich ornaments, reflecting the mastery of the late-Medieval
Georgian ecclesiastic art.
From the outside the Cathedral shapes like a short-armed
rectangular cross and has a short segment to the west. The fecades
of the Cathedral is covered with smoothly hewn stone. Decorations
include unbroken arcatures and various rich ornaments including
multiple-figured story-telling reliefs and episodes ( The
Transfiguration, The Judgment Day, The Ascension of the Cross,
figures of saint, real or imaginary animals, forming one
premeditated program). Nikortsminda has one of the most beautiful
decorations from all Georgian churches and cathedrals because
several different styles can be seen among the them, telling the
richness of the selection of motifs and the manner of
Khertvisi fortress - Khertvisi fortress is one of the oldest
fortresses in Georgia and was functional throughout the Georgian
feudal period. It is situated in Southern Georgia, in Meskheti
region. The fortress was first build in the 2nd century BC. The
church was built in 985, and the present walls build in 1354. As
the legend says, Khertvisi was destroyed by Alexander the Great. In
the 10th-11th centuries it was the center of Meskheti region.
During the 12th century it became a town. In the 13th century
Mongols destroyed it and until the 15th century it lost its power.
In the 15th century it was owned by Meskheti landlords from Jakeli
family. In the 16th century the southern region of Georgia was
invaded by Turks. During next 300 years they have owned Khertvisi
too. At the end of the 19th century Georgian and Russian army
returned the lost territories and Khertvisi became the military
base for Russian and Georgian troops. Khertvisi fortress is
situated on the high rocky hill in the narrow canyon at the
confluence of the Mtkvari and Paravani Rivers.
Ushguli - Ushguli or Ushkuli is a community of
villages located at the head of the Enguri gorge in Upper Svaneti,
Georgia. The Ushguli villages contain buildings that are part of
the UNESCO Heritage site of Upper Svaneti. Altitude claims vary
from 2,086 to 2,200 metres. Ushguli is considered to be the highest
inhabited village in Europe. It is located at the foot of Shkhara,
one of the highest Caucasian summits. About 70 families (about 200
people) live in the area, enough to support a small school. The
area is snow-covered for 6 months of the year, and often the road
to Mestia is impassable. Typical Svanetian protective towers are
found throughout the village. The Ushguli Chapel located on a
hilltop near the village dates back to the 12th century.