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Stop At: Jvari Church, Mtskheta Georgia
Jvari monastic temple immortalized by Michael Lermontov (“Mtsyri”poem) is the most ancient cult monument constructed in the beginning of Georgian Christianity in the 6th century (585- 604). The name Jvari means “cross” in Georgian language. It explains the ancient legend which says that it was there that St. Nino of Kappadokia put the Sacred Cross symbolizing the acceptance of Christianity by Georgia. Later over the cross the Temple of the Sacred Cross was built. It is worth mentioning that Small Jvari temple was built first (lying in ruins next to the main temple), and Big Jvari was erected afterwards for the purpose of preservation of the Sacred Cross relic. According to the ancient records the Cross was open to be seen from afar and was the object of worship until the 6 th century.
“The columns of the brought down gate, the towers, and the church arch...” – that was how Lermontov saw Jvari. Today Jvari looks the same as during the visit of Russian classic poet. The brought down stone walls with arch entrance and the temple itself seem majestic and strict. Its ascetic beauty is expressed in ideal proportions of the halls and the dome, in strict and straight lines, in smoothness of the external walls which do not bear any unnecessary decorative elements except the reliefs on their facades. Outwardly the temple looks like a big octahedral drum crowned by hexahedral cross-topped dome. Four premises adjoin the temple from two sides.
Jvari interior is no less harmonious: pure, sound and complete classics enchants with its perfection. From the inside the church is decorated by a mosaic which has survived only in fragments. In the temple's centre one can see the foundation on which the Sacred Cross brought by St. Nino of Kappadokia used to be fixed to.
Jvari is standing on the edge of a high rock and is in wonderful harmony with the severe but extremely picturesque nature of this area. Below, at the foot noisy Kura and Aragvi, two most known rivers in Georgia, are flowing by. Right across lies the extensive panorama of Mtskheta. On the windy slopes near Jvari grows the Tree of Wishes. The pilgrims come there to fasten ribbons with the hopes that their wishes will be granted.
In 1996 Jvari monastery reopened.
Duration: 40 minutes
Stop At: Jinvali Water Reservoir, 40 km to the North from Tbilisi, Tbilisi Georgia
The Zhinvali Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Aragvi River in the Caucasus Mountains in Zhinvali, Georgia. The Zhinvali Hydroelectric Power Plant has two turbines with a nominal capacity of 65 MW each having a total capacity of 130 MW. Jinvali water reservoir has a unique V shape and water color is also very special with a wonderful views .
Duration: 15 minutes
Stop At: Ananuri Fortified Castle Ensemble, Georgian Military Highway, Ananuri Georgia
Ananuri is a castle complex on the Aragvi River in Georgia, about 45 miles (72 kilometres) from Tbilisi. A feudal dynasty which ruled the area from the 13th century. The castle was the scene of numerous battles. Within the complex, amongst other buildings, are two churches. The older Church of the Virgin, which abuts a tall square tower, has the graves of some of the Dukes of Aragvi. It dates from the first half of the 17th century, and was built of brick. The larger Church of the Mother of God(Ghvtismshobeli), built in 1689 for the son of Duke Bardzem. It is a central dome style structure with richly decorated façades, including a carved north entrance and a carved grapevine cross on the south façade. It also contains the remains of a number of frescoes, most of which were destroyed by the fire in the 18th century. Also visit the St George Church in Ananuri and see some unique wall murals.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Russian Georgian Friendship Monument, Georgian Military Highway, Gudauri 383085 Georgia
This place has a wonderful view to the mountains and valley. Also the pictures in the wall re so beautiful . . This monument was built in 1983 to celebrate the bicentennial of the Treaty of Georgievsk and the "ongoing friendship" between Georgia and Soviet Russia . there’s lots of activities going on nearby like ballooning and paragliding. A breath-taking views of the valley and mountains.
Duration: 35 minutes
Stop At: Gergeti Trinity Church, Stepantsminda Georgia
Gergeti Trinity Church is a popular name for Holy Trinity Church near the village of Gergeti in Georgia. The church is situated on the right bank of the river Chkheri (the left tributary of the river Terek), at an elevation of 2170 meters (7120 feet), under Mount Kazbegi. The Gergeti Trinity Church was built in the 14th century .
Duration: 2 hours