The Gelati Monastery features mosaics, wall paintings, enamel and metal work that make this monastery to rise above the status of being just a monastery but also a center of education and science.
The Gelati Monastery features mosaics, wall paintings, enamel and metal work that make this monastery to rise above the status of being just a monastery but also a center of education and science. The center was established as a Georgian cultural center. Below is a brief synthesis of how the monastery came to be:
- Under King David IV the Builder and Queen Tamar - These two monarchs reigned over the city in 1089 to 1125 and 1184 and 1213 respectively. They are the people who were responsible for monastery’s fame. The monastery belongs to what is known as the ‘Golden Age of Medieval Georgia’ which was characterized by political strength and rapid economic growth.
- 1106 - King David the builder commenced the construction of the monastery.
- 1130 – The monastery was completed during the reign of his son Demetre
- 13th to 14th century – Some buildings were added throughout this period. Unfortunately, the good days were over sooner than later and a long period of foreign occupation as well as internal feuds led to the damage of the monastery
- 1510 – The church that had been built in the monastery grounds was destroyed by the Turkish invaders.
- 16th, 17th, and 18th century – It became the western Katholikos of Georgia residence
- 19th century – The monastery survived the Turkish attack, but it lost its episcopal role when it was annexed by Russia.
The Bagrati Cathedral
This cathedral is located on the left bank of Rioni. It is perched on a hill and is accessed by a long winding staircase. Although partly destroyed by the Turks in 1691, its ruins are still visible at the heart of Kutaisi. The cathedral is designed in a cruciform with cross arms that terminate in semicircular apses.
These two Georgian Monuments makes you want to find out what more this former iron country has to offer. Now that the country is open to exploration you can have your go at its hinterland and see what remains of its ancient culture as well as its modern attractions. Georgia is as close as you will get to the former Soviet Union. It still has a lot of soviet buildings that will give you insights into how the union worked.