Explore East Georgia’s David-Gareja cave city in a semi-desert and enjoy adventurous walk along painted caves of the Middle Ages.
In the sixth century, a small group of Assyrian monks arrived in Georgia. They split up when they reached Georgia, one of them, David, drawn to the desolation and purity of Kakheti, decided to build a monastery there, high up on a bluff overlooking present-day Azerbaijan. For three centuries, it grew slowly – the few devotees who kept up the site lived very simply in small hollows dug into the rock.
The 9th century wall paintings are especially important because of where they are and what they have endured – nearly one thousand years of graffiti has taken its toll on some of the images, not to mention the wind and sand. Most of the frescoes lie just a few meters within cave walls, unprotected by doors .The biggest threat, though, came not from exposure, but from Russian artillery fire.
Out of 19 ruins and caves of once glorious monastery first we visit Lavra and its seven-storey cave and church of Transfiguration where David was buried, then we take a 3 hrs walk up to Udabno caves and visit those great frescoes etched on the top of the cliff side.(The walk is quite rough and) as well as dramatic views over Azerbaijan.
Duration: 7-8 hrs
Dates: Whole year