Gelati Monastery

Kutaisi, Georgia

Gelati is a medieval monastic complex near Kutaisi. A masterpiece of the Georgian Golden Age, Gelati is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The Gelati Monastery was built in 1106 by King David IV of Georgia. It was constructed during the Byzantine empire, during which christianity was the ruling religion throughout the empire. The main church was completed in 1130 in the reign of his son and successor Demetré. Further churches were added to the monastery throughout the 13th and early 14th centuries. The monastery is richly decorated with mural paintings from the 12th to 17th centuries, as well as a 12th century mosaic in the apse of the main church, depicting the Virgin with Child flanked by archangels. Its high architectural quality, outstanding decoration, size, and clear spatial quality combine to offer a vivid expression of the artistic idiom of the architecture of the Georgian “Golden Age” and its almost completely intact surroundings allow an understanding of the intended fusion between architecture and landscape.

Gelati was not simply a monastery: it was also a centre of science and education, and the Academy established there was one of the most important centres of culture in ancient Georgia. King David gathered eminent intellectuals to his Academy such as Johannes Petritzi, a Neo-Platonic philosopher best known for his translations of Proclus, and Arsen Ikaltoeli, a learned monk, whose translations of doctrinal and polemical works were compiled into his Dogmatikon, or book of teachings, influenced by Aristotelianism. Gelati also had a scriptorium were monastic scribes copied manuscripts (although its location is not known). Among several books created there, the best known is an amply illuminated 12th century gospel, housed in the National Centre of Manuscripts.

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Gelati, Kutaisi, Georgia
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Details

Founded: 1106
Category: Religious sites in Georgia

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Zviad Shalikiani (10 months ago)
Great historical monument with beautiful view.
Saba Tsikolia (10 months ago)
well.. you know how it is.. Church.. wall paintings.. architecture... with some landscapes... and there is no normal parking... and there is no toilets .. like literally there is no place where you can pee although it's a really nice place visit.
Edward Whitehead (13 months ago)
Absolutely beautiful. Having visited a cave about 30 minutes before and then being on top of the world, really amazing.
david kokobinadze (14 months ago)
Nice
Nika Janjaria (2 years ago)
The nickname of The Gelati Monastery is the “Golden Age of Georgia”. The monastery was built during the Byzantine Empire which is known for the use of gold aesthetic in their paintings and buildings. It was built to show how Christianity encompassed all of this land and that Georgia was filled with Christian gospel all around even high up in the mountains. As the monastery is covered in arches that stretch over mountains show how encompassing the monastery is over the mountains and over the hills.
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