Photographer's Note

The David Gareja monastery complex is located about 60-70 km to the Southeast from Georgia's capital Tbilisi. It is an official Georgian religious and cultural monument, consisting of a number of churches. The complex was Established in first half of of the sixth century. Since October 24, 2011, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative lists as a historical-cultural monument.
Lavra, the first monastery here, was founded by Davit Gareja, one of the 13 Ascetic 'Syrian Fathers' who returned from the Middle East to spread Christianity in Georgia in the 6th century. The religious complex Grew until there were Monasteries spread over a wide area. Here manuscripts were translated and Copied, and a celebrated Georgian school of fresco painting Developed. The Monasteries were destroyed by the Mongols in 1265, revived in the early 14th century by Giorgi V the Brilliant, sacked by Timur and then suffered Their worst moment of all on Easter night 1615 When Persian Shah Abbas' soldiers killed 6000 monks and destroyed the bridge of Their artistic treasures. In 1675 King Archil Initiated some restoration and gave stipends to the monks. The Monasteries never regained Their Importance former but remained working until the end of the 19th century. [Lonelyplanet]

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