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Jvari Monastery

The masterpiece of Early Christian Orthodox architecture Jvari Monastery is dated 585-604 cc AD. Located on the hill top near the town Mtskheta, it is listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1994. The name is translated as the Monastery of the Cross. According to traditional accounts, in the early 4th century Saint Nino stayed here to pray and erected a wooden cross on Mtskheta’s highest hill. The church was built on the crest of a cliff at a confluence of the rivers Mtkvari and Aragvi. It is a representative of the tetra conch architectural type that was popular not only in Georgia but also in Byzantine world.
 
Jvari served as a model for many other churches in the country. Unusual and varied relief sculptures decorate its façades. The importance of Jvari complex increased over time and attracted many pilgrims. According to the legend pilgrims visiting the site shed tears while praying and the nearby natural lake was named the Lake of tears. The harmonious relationship between the landscape, architectural forms and divisions, the well-thought-out disposition of decorative elements and splendid relieves carved on big slabs of a stone give the south and east walls special expressiveness. Among the reliefs of the east wall are found the portraits of the kings who built the church. Included in UNESCO world heritage sights, the monument is still used for major celebrations.


Svetitskhoveli Cathedral

Svetitskhoveli is the main Christian Orthodox Cathedral in Georgia, built in 1010-1029 cc by the Georgian architect Arsukisdze and represents the high artistic value of Feudal time’s architecture. It was the main pilgrimage place on the Silk Road, the burial place of the Christ’s Robe, the tomb place of Georgian Kings and the most frequently visited place in Georgia.  It is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the historical town of Mtskheta, the former capital of the kingdom of Iberia.



Uplistsikhe
 
Uplistsikhe, the cave town is situated 7 km southeast of Gori on the left bank of the River Mtkvari. The site still amazes the visitors by its dimensions, extraordinary position, refined forms and the beauty of landscape. You will find huge echoing halls, long meandering corridor-streets, chambers for pagan worship and even the remains of Georgia's oldest theater there. The history of Uplistsikhe goes back to the 2nd-1st millenniums B.C. In antiquity, the city was one of the most important centers of Kartli and in the middle ages it stood on an important trade route that linked Byzantium with India and China. In 10th-16th centuries B.C. one of the strongest communities, residing on this territory used the natural caves for dwellings, later Uplistsikhe became one of the strongest political, cultural, religious and economic centers and the royal residence.

After the establishment of Christianity as the state religion, in the 30s of 4th century, the town began to decline. During Mongol invasions in 12th century it was badly damaged and soon in the 13th century, the hordes of Genghis Khan's son Khulagu finally destroyed it. The five thousand inhabitants of Uplistsikhe perished and life ended forever in the fortress.



Borjomi

Borjomi is a resort town in south-central Georgia with a population estimated at 14,445. It is one of the districts of the Samtskhe-Javakheti region and is situated in the northwestern part of the region in the picturesque Borjomi Gorge on the eastern edge of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park. The town is famous for its mineral water industry.


Romanov’s Palace
 
The Summer Residence Of  the Legendary Dynasty Romanov's Palace, also known  as Likani Palace, is amazingly beautiful example of architecture located in Likani, close vicinity of Borjomi.  The palace design was developed by Leon Benoit; the construction took 3 years, and was completed in 1895. Since then this place on the bank of Mtkvari River served as a summer holiday residence for Russian Royal family headed by the Grand Duke Nicholai Mikhailovich.
 
General architectural style of the Palace is described as Mauritian, with each of the sides of the villa having a different form and shape. The major feature of this type of architecture is that the European (mostly French) design is adopted to suit humid climate, and include elements that are made to keep residents cool and dry. The Romanov's Palace in Borjomi houses a unique collection of different Royal antiques such as a table that was presented to Romanov's by French emperor Napoleon, a chair presented by Iranian Sheikh, historical table assembled personally by Pyotr the First from nut tree roots, the billiard table, Russian oven with the images of different animals of Borjomi gorge and etc.



Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park

Covering more than 85,000 hectares of native forest and alpine meadows, the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park is a protected area located 160 kilometres from the nation’s capital of Tbilisi in the central part of Georgia that includes 3 regions: Imereti, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Shida Kartli. One of the largest national parks in Georgia, it includes six administrative districts stretching from the resort of Borjomi to the town of Kharagauli. Together with adjacent Borjomi Nature Reserve, the total area is 851 square kilometres, more than 1 percent of the total territory of Georgia. 



Timotesubani Monastery 

Timotesubani Monastery - the Cathedral of Holy Virgin is a cross-cupola church built in 12-13th c. The interior of the church is decorated with the best examples of the Georgian mural painting of 13th c. The name of its architect as well as the name of the painter is unknown. Originally the church had a blue roof, as blue color was highly appreciated during the middle ages.



The Green Monastery

The Green Monastery, the same St. George Cathedral was built in Chitahevi by apprentices of St. Grigol Khandzteli, Christopher and Theodore in about the IX century. Built on the right bank of the River Kura,  the monastery complex includes a single-nave church of roughtly crushed stone and a bell tower of XV-XVI century. The exact date of construction of the church  is unknown as are the names of priests who lived there, but the church resembles the construction style of of the IX century.  Monks' cells were located around the church;  some of which have survived to this day. In the XVI century, during the Shah - Tamaz invasions, the monastery was captured by the enemy and dozens of monks were wounded, tortured and killed. 
 
The riverbed flowing in the monastery is full of rocks of reddish color, which were called the "bloody stones." Pilgrims believe that the blood of monks killed in XVI century remained on these stones. It is said that these stones with traces of redness  have abnormal healing power – in winter and summer the "blood" of the stones is visible and if the faithful  do not pray, the blood is "erased." In the 1980’s of the XX century restoration works were carried out, and in 2002 there the monastery was restored.