"Udabno" Udabno by photonina

Udabno Travel Guide: 13 reviews and 113 photos

David Gareja Lavra

(see more pictures of this place on travelogue page "Udabno 1")

just shortly I'll say that, Udabno in Georgian means "desert". and Gareja monastery complex aka Udabno is some number of monasteries settled by Syrian monks (Holy Fathers) in 6th century in Gareja desert (eastern Georgia).
I can show and talk here only about those monasteries which I visited myself.
David Gareja Lavra (the travelogue name is "Udabno 1" - that's where I put the pictures of this place).
This lavra is functioning and is mostly visited among those desert monasters. If I'm not wrong it is the oldest one as well.
David was one of those Syrian fathers. he build himself the first church here (where actually now is his grave).
He had number of followers.. After David community was growing and there was not enough place for them .. so there appeared other monasters on the other side of the same mountain.

the other side of the mountain

(see more pictures of this place on travelogue page "Udabno 2")

So if you'll get to the other side of the mountain you will find there remainings of other monasteries, churches, rooms where monks used to lived, where they were having their meal etc. Those monks were making caves and arrangeing all that inside of those caves.
On the picture below - there is that "other side of the mountain". Those monasteries are not functioning, the caves are partly or lamost ruined and nobody lives there. The monks from David Gareja Lavra are taking care of them.. I think it's difficult to see any caves on this picture here. But there are a lot. And also there are beautiful frescoes there! just beautiful.
If you'll go to David Gareja, don't miss those caves. A monk in David Gareja Lavra can show you the footpath which leads you there and it will take only 30-45 minutes to reach the place. To see most part of this caves you need 1 hour or more. Some rooms are difficult to get in (cuz they are half ruined) and sometimes you need help to climb to some of them. But if you can, try! last time when I was really lazy to climb up for one of those tiny churches there (because I was already tired as I already saw a lot of caves and thought that church would be similar to others).. I was about to give up! but my friend acted crazy: she said I must go up and see that, that I must not miss it .. the rock which I should climb on was extremely slippery.. I made some effort to get to the church - and I did not regret!!!! I saw there very original wall paintings! I was amazed! I will put those frescoes' pictures on travelogue "my favorite frescoes from Udabno 2".
and All other pictures from this side of the mountain I will put under name "Udabno 2".
Udabno 1, 2, 3 _ those "code" names I gave just to differ pictures from each other... and maybe to make it easier for you to understand what is where.

St. John the Baptist's monastery

(see more pictures of this place on travelogue page "udabno 3")

This is St. John the Baptist's monastery and it is a part of the complex called Udabno. It is in few kilometres from David Gareja Lavra.
The monastery is functioning.

I will put some photos taken there in travelogue page called Udabno 3.

  • Intro Updated Nov 17, 2006
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Reviews (4)

Comments (3)

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2008 at 11:04 PM

    I am a desert lover and I was fascinated by your page. The frescoes are superb and the monateries themselves very moving! Thanks for showing this marvellous place!

  • iwys's Profile Photo
    Feb 23, 2007 at 6:36 AM

    More of your wonderful photos. I enjoyed reading your tips too. It's not often that I find a transportation tip so interesting to read!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2006 at 9:10 AM

    Nice photos from David Gareja! I have been wondering where to put my photos, but had never heard of Udabno.

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