National Geographic: Georgia’s Davit Gareja Caves among Top 17 Most Beautiful Places

Georgia Today – 11/11/16

TBILISI-Georgia’s Davit Gareja Monastery was listed among top 17 the most beautiful places in the world with shots by National Geographic photographers.

“High in the cliffs of eastern Georgia’s rugged and remote border with Azerbaijan, Georgia’s Davit Gareja is a complex of 19 medieval cave monasteries. Considered masterpieces of Georgian art, the caves once housed nearly 5,000 monk cells. One cave is still functioning as a monastery, and monks can sometimes be heard chanting in the silence of the deserted steppe,” the article published by National Geographic reads.

Davit Gareja is a rock-hewn Georgian Orthodox monastery complex located in the Kakheti region, East Georgia, on the half-desert slopes of Mount Gareja, 60–70 km southeast of Georgia’s capital Tbilisi. The complex includes hundreds of cells, churches, chapels, refectories and living quarters hollowed out of the rock face.

Part of the complex is located in the Agstafa Rayon of Azerbaijan and has become subject to a border dispute between the two countries.

The area is also home to protected animal species and evidence of some of the oldest human habitations in the region.

The complex was founded in the 6th century by Saint David Garejeli, one of the thirteen Assyrian monks, who arrived in the country at the same time.

The monastery remains active today and serves as a popular destination of tourism and pilgrimage.

By Thea Morrison