The Gelati Monastery in Kutaisi

13th Century Gelati Monastery. Copyright Jessie T. Ponce 2011

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1994; the Gelati is a monastic compound containing the Church of the Virgin built in 1106 and the 13th century churches of St George and St Nicholas.  It was once the cultural and intellectual center of Georgia and contains the burial ground of one of the greatest Georgian kings, David the Builder.

Entrance to the monastic compound. Copyright Jessie T. Ponce 2011

The monastery is located on the hills just outside of Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of Georgia.  It was during a  quick stop-over  when I took these photos. We wanted to cover 3 monasteries and a nature park in the city in less than 4 hours so there was not much time to fully enjoy the beauty of the place.

The entrance as viewed from inside the compound. Copyright Jessie T. Ponce 2011

Local tourists paying respects to the grave of King David the Builder. Copyright Jessie T. Ponce 2011

Gelati Monastery. Copyright Jessie T. Ponce 2011

Facade of the main church in sepia. Copyright Jessie T. Ponce 2011

 

It was mid-afternoon and the day was really sunny when we visited the monastery. The long, dark shadows provided interesting effects on the images I captured so I decided to set the last photo in sepia to emphasize the play of light and shadows.

For my other articles and photos about Kutaisi at Hubpages, follow these links: