The Jvari Monastery
On a mountaintop overlooking the old capital town of Mtskheta and the scenic confluence of the Mtkvari and Aragvi rivers stood the ancient structure of the 6th Century Jvari Monastery. According to traditional accounts, Saint Nino who brought Christianity to Georgia in the 4th century, erected a wooden cross on this site. The cross drew pilgrims from all over the region because it was reportedly able to work miracles. The “Small Church of Jvari” was eventually erected over the remnants of the wooden cross in c.545 and, between 586 and 605, was renovated into the “Great Church of Jvari” which is what can be seen now in these photos.
There was a military base in the area during the Soviet period, thus the Jvari was largely ignored during this time because access was difficult due to tight security around the base. The building was restored to active religious use only after Georgia’s independence and Jvari was listed together with other monuments of Mtskheta as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
We visited the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and the Jvari Monastery, both in Mtskheta, on the same cloudy day in April 2011. We went up to the Jvari first so small rain was still falling while I was taking these photos although the weather gradually improved as we explored the area. I didn’t mind the rain but I had to be mindful of the poor lighting and the slippery surroundings as I took these photos.
For my related articles at HubPages, follow these links:
- Exotic Travel Destinations – Georgia: Staying Warm in Tbilisi
- Exotic Travel Destinations: The Medieval Georgian Town of Mtskheta
- Exotic Travel Destinations: The Medieval Cathedrals and Monasteries of Kutaisi
- Exotic Travel Destinations – Georgia: Fortresses, Churches and Monasteries
- The Legendary Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta (travellingartist.wordpress.com)
- The Gelati Monastery in Kutaisi (travellingartist.wordpress.com)
- The Motsameta Monastery in Kutaisi (travellingartist.wordpress.com)
- The Metekhi Church in Tbilisi (travellingartist.wordpress.com)
- Georgia – Day 6, September 21 (harrogatewine.wordpress.com)
- Grand Caucasus…is Something to See… (adventourcaucasus.wordpress.com)