Tales from Georgia-Heritage Trails

There are four UNESCO heritage sites in Georgia and  we  had the chance to visit  the  Holy Cross Monastery of Jvari and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral included in the hisorical monuments of Mtskheta.Mtskheta was the old capital of Georgia and it was from this  place that Christanity was  adopted as the state religion of Georgia.

Jvari Monastery was the first stop.It is about 20 km from Tbilisi and is on top of Mount Armazi.

According to legend Saint Nino   who brought  christanity to Georgia   erected a  wooden cross at this site and a church was built  over the remnants in c .545.IMG_5552027The entrance to the monastery

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From the top we can see the confluence of  Aragvi and Mtkvari rivers.

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I had  a feeling of deja vu.This is the  confluence of indus and zanskar rivers at Nimmu in Leh I had seen two years back.

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It was a cold windy day and we  could not stay long outside.Inside the church there were few worshippers..We also lit candles  and   stood in reverence .

Though the church looks well preserved it is facing damage from the  rains and strong winds and is  on the 100  Most Endangered Sites List of the World Monument Fund.

This monastery does not have impressive frescoes or statues like  most of the churches we saw in Tbilisi but it has its own simple charm.

Soon it was time to leave St.Nino  and go to the  first orthodox church  in Georgia.IMG_5554

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tales from Georgia-walk through old Tbilisi

 

I was very happy with the location of  our  apartment in the old part of the city.This area has an interesting mix of crumbling old buildings with  high doors,open balconies,courtyards,cobblestone streets ,bakeries and churches. There are churches at almost every corner .One can see smartly dressed  people   setting out for their  daily chores and school children  waiting for their school bus.You may get lost in the  labyrinthine alleyways  but I was not a bit concerned .Mother of Georgia could be seen from everywhere and she guided me .

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This balcony reminded me of the famous balcony scene in Romeo and

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Tales from Georgia

Tbilisi sounds musical and I knew almost nothing about this place other than  it being the capital of Georgia. Digging into the history  I found that Tbilisi is derived from the old Georgian  word Tipli meaning warm.The story goes like this-King of Georgia Vakhtang I Gorgasali went hunting with his falcon  and the falcon caught a pheasant.When  he went to  see the catch he found both the falcon and the pheasant  in a hot spring .Impressed with this discovery  he decided to build a city in that location and  Tbilisi was born.

We booked  an apartment through airbnb and  reached there  at 3 am.Our host and her two friends had come to receive us and soon we  were in her  19 century  apartment in the old part of the city.house

In the courtyard are the ruins of an old church and  on top of the Sololaki hill is this magnificient lady Kartvlis Deda or Mother of Georgia   holding a bowl of wine to welcome the guests and a sword to  ward off enemies.This 20 metre tall statue was made in 1958  and she symbolises the georgian spirit.2015 - 4

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She stands tall and proud overlooking the city.I kept looking up at her in awe and tried to capture her from various angles.

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The apartment was warm and cosy. It has a fireplace which I found  charming.

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This was the view from the window.I did not waste any time and set out to explore the city.