The Gelati Monastery

The Gelati Monastery
Photo by: Martijn Munneke , Creative Commons

One of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites can be found in Georgia. This is the Gelati Monastery. This place is one of the most visited places in this region as best attributed to both its history and beauty. It is the home of many cultural and intellectual aspects of Georgia. It is a monastic complex located in western Georgia.

The Monastery of Gelati was founded and built around the eleventh century by one of the greatest kings of Georgia, King David the Builder. This is also where the Church of the Virgin can be found. Among the most common reasons for visitors to take interest in this place is because of the fact that this monastery used to be the center for some of the greatest Gregorian philosophers, scientists and theologians. This center was then referred to as the Gelati Academy; at times considered to be the new Hellas or the second Athos. There are a significant number of murals and manuscripts which have been preserved throughout centuries and are now being exhibited within the monastery.

There are about ten great people who were buried within the Monastery of Gelati and this has also become part of the biggest tourist attractions in the area. As you look up in the dome of the monastery, you will find the Christ Pantokrator. And as you walk around this place, you will be able to appreciate the great mosaics and murals decorating the walls of the structure. Among other things which you will find in this place would be the mosaic of Archangel Michael, the murals of the Ascension and of David IV of Georgia. The northern wall is full of ancient art and other relics which will sure keep you standing in awe. There are also other icons which stand as memoirs to the greatest saints and significant people to the monastery.

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