Along the road from Gremi to Sighnaghi, almost halfway, I noticed this monastery that was undergoing a heavy restoration. It looked like an ancient monastery and worth a mention but I have been unable to identify it though I have extensively searched. Anybody has a clue ?
In the neighborhood of Telavi, the monasteries of Dzveli Shuamta and Akhali Shuamta are a must see. Shuamta (or Shuamt’a, or Chuamta) means “between mountains”.
The monastery of Dzveli Shuamta (old Shuamta) is actually a set of three churches built one after the other between the Vth and the VIIIth century. There does not remain anything from the monks dwellings. It was abandoned by the monks in the XVIth.
The monastery of Akhali Shuamta (new Shuamta) was built in the XVIth by Tinatin Gurieli, the wife of King Levan II as a women monastery. She herself took the veil in the monastery she founded. It is still working as a monastery.
More on my Shuamta page.
Telavi is especially famous for Irakli II palace, standing in the middle of a strong fortified enclosure, Batonis Tsikhé. The palace was built in 1672 and is in very good condition.
More on my Telavi page.
In the 16th century, Gremi was the capital of Kakheti. It was a large city spread in the plain and overhanged by the Archangel's Church complex standing on top off its rock. The armies of Shah Abbas from Persia (Iran) destroyed the city and nothing was left except the church complex.
More on my Gremi page
The monastery of Ikalto has three churches but is especially famous in Georgia for its academy, which, for five centuries was the intellectual center of the country and the cradle of the intelligentsia of the country.
More on my Ikalto page
Alaverdi cathedral is one of the three great ancient cathedrals of Georgia, the two others are Svetiskhoveli in Mtskheta and Bagrati in Kutaisi, the later in bad condition. More on my Alaverdi page.
For those that have no car, marchroutchka leave every half an hour the central bus station of Telavi for Ikalto (see other tip) and Alaverdi. Therefore, it is easy to visit both locations, one after the other.