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Sightseeing

Sataplia

Sataplia is a very interesting place for Kutaisi visitors. The Sataplia karst cave lies 6 km. North-West of Kutaisi within Sataplia state preserve. Satasaplia is known for its Dinosaurs traces. The specialists think that in this view Sataplia is one of the richest places in the world. The Sataplia karst cave begins from North and leads to the East. 300m long, karst cave abounds in stalactites and stalagmites. The air and water temperatures in the Sataplia karst cave are nearly equal ( 12-13 c).

Motsameta

The Motsameta Monastery (“Motsame” means “the martyr” in Georgian and that’s the word the mane of the church comes from) is located in the historical province of Imereti, close to Gelati complex, in Tskaltsitela River gorge. It has been built in the name of martyr brothers David and Konstantin Mkheidzes, the Eristavs of Argveti, who with their rather small garrison opposed the Arab ride, led by Murvan the Deaf and after long and fierce resistance were defeated by the outnumbering enemy and captivated. Only under the condition of abdication of Christian faith and confession of Islam the Arab commander would spare their lives but the proposal was firmly rejected. Despite merciless sufferings the brothers were not broken. Their tortured bodied were buried in Motsameta monastery. Later they were canonized by Georgian Church.

Batonistsikhe citadel

Batonistsikhe citadel is located in Telavi. Entering the gates you can tour several small 18th century churches as well as the Ketevan Iashvili Art Gallery that features works from local and European artists. From the eastern side, theCitadel is bordered by the statue of King Erekle II on horseback. Climb to the statue’s base for a breathtaking view of the Caucasus Mountains.

Ikalto Monastery and Academy

Monastery and Academy, 6-12th centuries; Telavi District. Ikalto Monastery was founded by Assyrian Father Zenon in the 6th century. The 8-9th centuries witnessed construction of a new Transfiguration “Deity” temple. It is bordered by a smaller 6th century Trinity church from the East. In the 11-12th centuries an outstanding historical figure and tutor to Davit Aghmashenebeli, Arsen Ikaltoeli initiated the project on establishing an academy in Ikalto. Nowadays only ruins of one of the buildings are remaining. The ground floor had two rooms, while the first one had one big hall for scientific assemblies. In the academy students could study philosophy, rhetoric, mathematics, agronomy. According to a historical tradition, both Zenon and Arsen are buried in the monastery. Ikalto is a must-see for Kakheti visitors.

Bodbe Monastery

Monastery, 4-9th centuries; Sighnaghi District. History ascribes building and decorating the temple to the first Christian King of Georgia Mirian and his son Bakar. This is where St. Nino, enlightener of all Georgians, died and was buried. The church acquired its current shape in the 9th century. In 1823 it was restored and painted. Bodbe has always been an important monastic and educational center and had a significant role in the political life of the country. It managed to retain its importance as a spiritual center in the Caucasus throughout the years when Georgia was part of the Russian Empire (19th century).

Svetitskhoveli

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral built in 1010-1029 is a sacred place where fragments of the robe of Christ, brought by a local Jewish man from Jerusalem are kept.

Gareji

Gareji is the largest complex of monasteries in Georgia, where famous historical figures lived and worked in ancient times. Built between the VI - IX century, the monastery is all the more remarkable for being carved entirely out of rock. It used to be the royal monastery, and its churches represent almost the entire range of architectural and artistic styles from the VI century onwards, while its original frescos are equally stunning.

Prometheus cave

Location – Sub-horizontal; General direction – South West; Number of Halls – more than 15; Length of Tourist route in the cave – 1060 m.; Maximum height – 21 m. Air temperature – 15-17; Water temperature 13-14; Village Kumistavi, where on the 15th of July 1984 the members of Speleology expedition from Vakhushti Bagrationi State Geographical Institute discovered a new cave, is located on the right side of the Tskaltubo-Tsageri highway. Location of the Cave is 100m above the sea level. Near the main entrance, the cave is hindered by the lake. The cave is unique for its various volumes of the halls. 16 halls are discovered and each one differs from each other greatly. Prometheus Cave is one of the richest caves of Europe. It is characterized by the variety of underground rivers and beautiful landscapes. Walking route for tourists is 1060 m. In Prometheus Cave four layers were formed during the different stages of earth development and tourists will be able to walk through this historic territory by path (1060 m) or by boats (280m).

Vardzia

Vardzia  is a cave monastery site in southern Georgia, excavated from the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain on the left bank of the Mtkvari River, thirty kilometres from Aspindza. The main period of construction was the second half of the twelfth century. The caves stretch along the cliff for some five hundred metres and in up to nineteen tiers. The Church of the Dormition, dating to the 1180s during the golden age of Tamar and Rustaveli. The site was largely abandoned after the Ottoman takeover in the sixteenth century. Now part of a state heritage reserve, the extended area of Vardzia-Khertvisi has been submitted for future inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.Soviet-era excavations have shown that the area of Vardzia was inhabited during the Bronze Age.



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