Georgian ecclesiastical architecture – 9 day-tour
Often known as the “Georgian cross-dome style,” this style of architecture developed in Georgia during the 9th century. Before that, most Georgian churches were basilicas. One distinguishing feature of Georgian ecclesiastical architecture, one which can be traced back to a high emphasis on individualism in Georgian culture, is reflected in the allocation of space inside the churches.
In this particular tour you will get acquaintance with some outstanding examples of Georgian church and cave architecture as well as enjoy stunning views of Caucasian mountains.
Overview Daily Itinerary:
Day 1 Arrival
Day 2 Tbilisi sightseeing tour
Day 3 Tbilisi –Jvari-Svetitskhoveli-Ananuri-Gudauri
Day 4 Gudauri-Akhaltsikhe
Day 5 Akhaltsikhe-Vardzia-Kutaisi
Day 6 Kutaisi-Gelati-Motsameta-Ubisi-Tbilisi
Day 7 Tbilisi-David Gareji-Telavi
Day 8 Tsinandali-Alaverdi-Gremi-Tbilisi
Day 9 Departure
Arrive in Tbilisi and transfer to the hotel for two nights.
Enjoy a full day tour of the capital, with its narrow streets or crooked houses and pretty old courtyards.Visit
Metekhi, many events of the history of Tbilisi are related to Metekhi Plateau and the Virgin Mary Church atop. A legend credits King Vakhtang Gorgasali with founding a church there. Walk down to Abanotubani (“district of baths”), the oldest part of Tbilisi. Baths built in the 17th-18th centuries have been preserved there and function to this day. Take the cable car up to Narikala Fortress. Walk down to Sulfur baths and Sioni church, the foundation of which was laid by king Vakhtang Gorgasali, the founder of Tbilisi. It is named after Virgin Mary and is home to one of the greatest relics of Georgia – the cross, made by the enlightener of Georgia St. Nino. Visit the State Museum.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
Travel to Mtskheta, the cultural and spiritual center of Georgia, before heading up the Georgian Military Highway to Gudauri. En-route visit Jvari Church(6th c), built on the top of the mount, Svetitskhoveli(11th c), the holiest cathedral, where Jesus Christ’s robe is buried, Samtavro(11th where the first Georgian Christian king Mirian and queen Nana are buried. Arrive Gudauri.
Overnight in a hotel in Gudauri.
Drive to Gori, birthplace of Stalin and visit Joseph Stalin Museum. Visit Uplistsikhe, an ancient rock-hewn town thought to be one of the oldest settlements in Georgia. Literally meaning ‘the Lord’s Fortress’, the nine hectare complex contains dwellings, theatre, wine presses, pharmacy and structures from the Early Iron Age to the Late Middle Ages.
Drive to Akhaltsikhe to overnight.
Head south towards the Turkish border to Vardzia, a spectacular cave town built into the Erusheti Mountain by Queen Tamar in 1185. En route stop at Khertvisi Fortress to take photos. Drive to Kutaisi, ancient capital of Colchis.
The night will be spent in Kutaisi.
Today, after breakfast discover Kutaisi’s most famous sights including Bagrati Temple and Gelati Monastery complex, once one of the main cultural and intellectual centers in West Georgia. The complex includes three churches, the bell tower, king David the Builder’s grave, the famous Gelati Academy. En route back to Tbilisi, en-route visit Ubisi Church(IX-XIV). Drive to Tbilisi.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
After breakfast drive to Kakheti Region and visit David Gareji Monastery, a rock-hewn Orthodox complex comprising churches, chapels and refectories. David Gareji is an overall name for 12 monasteries in the immediate area. Visit Lavra – the parent Monastery and walk up to Udabno Cave-Monastery before driving through the picturesque vineyards to Telavi.
Overnight in Telavi.
Enjoy the scenic Kakheti region including Tsinandali, grand estate of the 19th century poet and Kakhetian Prince Alexander Chavchavadze, also known for its production of fine wines. Stop at Alaverdi Cathedral- the masterpiece of Georgian architecture of 11th century, beautiful Gremi complex(16th c) before returning to Tbilisi.
Gala dinner in Georgian restaurant with folk dances and Georgian polyphonic songs.
Overnight stay in Tbilisi.