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Georgia: Mtatsminda Zamemba

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Mtatsminda Zamemba | Georgia | Asia

[Visited: July 2005]

As soon as our marshrutka stopped on the main square of Kazbegi, we spotted the famed Mtatsminda Zamemba church on top of the mountain across the Tergi river. The sun was disappearing behind the mountain ridge, and we just had enough time to walk to the WWF centre, to find out that their maps were sold out. But when we woke up the next morning, our first goal was to hike up the hill to visit the church. Crossing the bridge and walking up through Gergeti village was all easy, and so was the rest of the walk up. We walked around the base of the mountain, climbed up, and when we reached an open area and looked back, we directly saw the silhouette of the church in a distance.

Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Kazbegi: Mtatsminda Zamemba seen from a distance

From here, it was an almost flat walk towards the church. As we came closer, the silhouette of two towers sticking out from the hill against the clouds and mountains in the background, slowly but surely turned into a church surrounded by a wall. A few workers were busy on improvements of the buildings, while we first walked around the church before entering. The grounds were almost empty, the walls of the 14th century Holy Trinity church simple, yet strong and delicately decorated in some parts. When we walked into the church itself, a beam of sunlight coming from one of the openings high above us, played on the walls of this emblematic church of Georgia.

Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Kazbegi: beam of sunlight flowing into Mtatsminda Zamemba

Apparently, it happened several times in the history of the Georgians that religious items from other churches were taken to Mtatsminda Zamemba for safekeeping. While looking out over the landscape below us, we could well imagine that this was a good hiding place for treasures. But more than that, it is also a very pleasant place to stay. We enjoyed the sunshine, the view over the mountain ranges around us. Unfortunately, Mount Kazbek was wrapped in clouds. Still, we decided to walk further up the mountain and leave the Mtatsminda Zamemba church behind.

Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Kazbegi: Mtatsminda Zamemba seen from below
Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Kazbegi: landscape with Mtatsminda Zamemba church on a mountain top
Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Kazbegi: detail of altar inside Mtatsminda Zamemba church
Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Mtatsminda Zamemba church: detail of bell tower from outside
Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Mtatsminda Zamemba church: bell tower from outside
Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Mtatsminda Zamemba: interior of church
Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Kazbegi: main entrance to Mtatsminda Zamemba church
Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Mtatsminda Zamemba church: looking up a wall
Picture of Mtatsminda Zamemba (Georgia): Mtatsminda Zamemba church: bells hanging over Georgian landscape

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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