Gelati Monastery

Gelati Monastery
Gelati Monastery
Anonim

The Gelati Monastery is one of the main monuments of Georgia. It is an Orthodox monastery whose origins date back to the beginning of the 12th century, since it is known that it was founded by King David the Builder in the year 1106. By the way, this monarch known as David IV (1073 – 1125) is one of the most prominent in the history of that country, since he managed to unify Georgia, drove the Turks out of his territory and promoted Christian culture with great success, which is why he was canonized by the Orthodox Church.

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Gelati Monastery

The monastery is very close to the city of Kutaisi, the second in the country and where there are also other great landmarks of local architecture such as the Cathedral of Bagrati, and both buildings are listed as World Heritage Sites.

In the case of the monastery, this category is due to its history as an important Georgian cultural center, but also because of the artistic gems that are preserved here, both architecturally and in wall paintings and even because of the historical manuscripts, of between the 12th and 17th centuries that are kept in its library.

The complex is made up of three churches built at different times, and as the institution grew in importance. On one side is the oldest temple from the 12th century, which is the Church of the Virgin. She wasadded a new temple in the following century, which is under the patronage of Saint George. And finally there is the church of San Nicolás, which is already from the 14th century. And fortunately, the fresco paintings from the same period in which the buildings were built are being recovered.

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Interior Paintings of Gelati Monastery

These are paintings that summarize the most common characteristics of Orthodox art, where the icons always evoke Byzantine art. However, of all the wall paintings, surely the most valuable and impressive are those on the ceilings and walls of the church of Santa María. There is an image of the Virgin with the Child, both accompanied by two archangels, and which are among the oldest in the Geli monastery, since researchers date it to the first half of the 12th century.

In addition, several royal tombs are also kept, given the connection of the monastery with the monarchy that ruled Georgia for centuries. Among those tombs is that of King David IV himself. In other words, we are facing an important monumental complex, which in turn was protected by an entire wall, which also included the so-called Academy that once housed the most select intelligentsia and science of this Eurasian country.

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