"Ananuri" Ananuri by maykal

Ananuri Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 56 photos

My friend Eka's relatives took me on a day trip to the church of Ananuri, standing one a clifftop above the impressive Zhinvali Reservoir. Ananuri is located just before the Georgian Military Highway begins to climb its way into the Caucasus mountains. First of all you round a bend in the road and the huge expanse of Zhinvali Reservoir spreads out in front of you. We stopped for a walk around the dam...apparently the "dam keeper" was OK about that, although the children were a bit wary of the one-eyed dog. After plenty of pictures were taken, we piled back into the car and continued down the road to the far end of the reservoir...standing on a low cliff above the lake is the ancient monastery complex of Ananuri, a church in a fortress-like compound.

The lady who manned the gate was just about to leave, and didn't look impressed with the prospect of allowing a gaggle of merry tourists with a couple of hyperactive children to run amok inside her beloved church, but some words of encouragement in Georgian later, and the gates were opened for us.

The inside of the church is dark, lit only by the many candles smoking away under paintings of various saints. I should be able to tell you a bit more about the history of the church, as Eka's brother did try to tell me, but it was hard to concentrate when his son was poking me in the back of the legs and giggling rather loudly.

Emerging outside, a boisterous dog chased us round to the belltower, where we all clambered up towers and down tunnels, shrieking all the while. The church guardian looked suitably unimpressed with that sort of behaviour, so we offered to give her a lift to her home in the nearby village, before heading to a local restaurant for a Georgian feast.

Emerging outside, a boisterous dog chased us round to the belltower, where we all clambered up towers and down tunnels, shrieking all the while. The church guardian looked suitably unimpressed with that sort of behaviour, so we offered to give her a lift to her home in the nearby village, before heading to a local restaurant for a Georgian feast.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A beautiful church spectacularly located by a mountain reservoir
  • Cons:Apart from the church, there's nothing there, so no public transport
  • In a nutshell:If someone offers to take you there, don't refuse! If not, look out for the church as you speed past to Kazbegi
  • Last visit to Ananuri: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated Sep 13, 2005
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maykal

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