David Gareja

Directly at the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan you can find different orthodox monasteries dating back to the 6th century CE. While the archeological sites on Azeri land are unused, the David Gareja monastery in Georgia is still active and often visited by tourists. It is a a wonderful cloister built into the Udabno mountain in a beautiful scenery.

After entering the monastery through a gate decorated with an inscription in ancient writing you can see the caves of the monks carved deep into the mountain. On stairs you can walk down into the small church. The monastery is able to survive in this region as the mountain gives shadow and a source in the Udabno gives water to the inhabitants. Therefore it is possible (but cumbersome) to grow plants and hold cattle.

Next to the monastery you can do a steep ascent and climb to the top of the buildings. Don’t be confused about the Georgian soldier on guard there: the border is at the top of the mountain and therefore close-by but visiting the area is allowed. You can enjoy views on the monastery and the amazing landscape from up there or walk to the spring in the rocks. The area around David Gareja is colorful because of different sediments being stacked, it is advertised as the rainbow mountains and you should not miss a small walk through them.

დავით გარეჯის ლავრა
David Gareja monastery complex

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