Just North of Tbilisi

About 20 km north of Tbilisi, hidden in a valley, is the town of Mtskheta …. 

Mtskheta

 

The small town was once the seat of government for Georgia and, now, most of its monuments and cathedrals are part of the UNESCO world heritage sites.

The most famous (and hardest to get to) is the Dschwari (or Jvari) Monastery. It is located on a rocky mountain top overlooking the city below. The name is translated as Monastery of the Cross.

Dschwari Monastery (1) Dschwari Monastery (4) Dschwari Monastery Mountain Dschwari Monastery Wide

In the historical center of town there is another well-known cathedral…

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

This cathedral is known as the burial place for Christ’s mantle, and is the main Georgian church and one of the most venerated places of worship in the country.

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (1) Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (2) Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (3) Svetitskhoveli Cathedral Entrance

 

The Samtawro Church is best known as the burial place of the famous Georgian monk –Gabriel. 

Samtawro Church (1) _DSC0706

 

This interesting and old city (one of the oldest continuously populated cities in the world) is easily reached from Tbilisi by public transportation..  Buses run frequently and are very inexpensive..usually from 4 to 7 leira  each way.  Or you can hire a driver for the day. It will cost from 100-125 leira for the whole day, but is well worth because it makes it easy to get to the mountain top and the Dschwari Monastery..

Happy Travels!

Photography as Art                        Fine Art America

Motsameta Monastery – Kutaisi, Georgia

Sitting on the side of a mountain a few kilometers from Kutaisi, is the Motsameta Monastery.  It was built by King Bagrati in the 11th century on the site of an old

DSC_0176

 

church that had been destroyed by Arabs in the 8th century. Two brothers, Konstantine and David, the lords of the region,were murdered for refusing to convert to Islam..Their bodies were then thrown into the valley below.

DSC_0147

 

Their recovered remains are interred here.. and are considered sacred..The name Motsameta means “martyr”..

DSC_0122 DSC_0136It’s a pretty place to visit..but be aware that most of the church is off-limits to foreigners, so other than the grounds and a few exteriors, there isn’t much to see..  It makes for a good side trip from the Gelati Monastery .. and the views from the parapets are awesome..

Travel with Steve                         Photography as Art

 Prints from Fine Art America

HAPPY TRAVELS!!

 

 

Gelati Monastery – Kutaisi, Georgia

I had the opportunity to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site last fall.. It is located just a short ride from Kutaisi, Georgia.

DSC_0040

 

The site has been neglected for ages and, when I visited in November of last year, reconstruction was underway …

 

 

DSC_0011 DSC_0039 DSC_0069 DSC_0078

 

It is located about 10 km from the city. The easiest way to reach this wonderful example of ancient Georgian architecture is to negotiate a taxi.. There are buses, but they are infrequent and run on no set timetable..

When you visit Kutaisi, be sure to include this on your “must see” places to visit..

Travel with Steve                   Photography as Art
                    Prints by Fine Art America 

Happy Travels!!

Churches of Bila Tserkva

The Saint Mary Magdalene Monastery sits high on the hill overlooking the Ros River in Bila Tserkva.. about 80 km southeast of Kiev, Ukraine.

 

DSC_0816

The church was built in the 18th century. It was the only church built outside  the center of the city. During the Soviet regime, it was one of the few active churches in the city.

DSC_0818

The Church of St. John the Baptist is located on Zamkovaya Hill and was buit in the early 1800’s by Count Branitsky in honor of his son. The church today is a well known place to attend chamber and organ music concerts.

DSC_0750

It is possible that the church was built on the site of another church which had given Bila Tserkva – lterally “white church” – it’s name.

DSC_0752

The Cathedral of the Transconfiguration is the main Orthodox church in the city. It was built to replace the dilapidated St. Nicholas Church, by Countess A. Branitsky.

DSC_0790

 

Bila Tserka is easily reached from Kyiv by mini bus for about 30 uah ($3.00 USD). They leave from metro stop Palats Ukraine. While there is no set time table, you can plan on a bus leaving every 20 minutes or so. It takes about an 1 1/2 hours so it is perfect for a day trip.

 

Travel with Steve   – Travel Links, Photographs, Reviews

Photography as Art – Portfolio, Walking Tours, Portrait Sessions

 

Happy Travels!

 

 

Kyiv – Shot of the Day

Lavra Spring

One of my favorite shots in Kyiv, Ukraine.. The Persheka Lavra shown through blossoms on an tree..  Sorry, I never did identify the tree.. probably should have but it was more the image of spring I was going for 🙂