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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Address

Gelati, Kutaisi, Georgia
See all sites in Kutaisi

Details

Founded: 1106
Category: Religious sites in Georgia

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tamás Szalai (14 months ago)
It was under renovation when I was there, but it is still breathtaking! The paintings stayed conserved on the walls!
Dina Klimentieva (14 months ago)
Unusual blue frescoes. Definitely worth a visit if you are nearby.
GREAZE (15 months ago)
Beautiful place. Some of the artwork inside is amazing. Please note, there are external works taking place as of April 2019 - the building has a lot of scaffolding around it.
Giorgi Kiknavelidze (16 months ago)
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 Monastery is known as Church of Virgin the Blessed, meaning that the church is dedicated to the virgin mary and her spiritual powers. Mary has a motherly component to her that shows the important factors to the Virgin Mary, mother to Jesus Christ. Overall, the church was not just used for religious purposes, it was also used to teach science. It became the academy of math and sciences in all of Georgia.
Petra Benkoe (16 months ago)
Under renovation. Amazing frescoes. Guide to understand the frescoes advisable. On a beautiful day a lovely scenery into the valley
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