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Gelati Monastery

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This monumental Georgian architectural structure is eleven kilometres East of Kutaisi. The complex consists of St George’s domed church, the two-storey St Nicolas’ church with its arched passageway, Church of Nativity of the Virgin (the main church), a belltower and an academy.

Founded by King David the Builder in the 12 century, the monastery is adorned with murals, mosaics and frescos. His tomb is at the south gate where anyone leaving has to walk over his grave. The main church houses the only complete mosaic decoration from medieval Georgia. The Church of St George served as a prayer and burial chapel for Georgia and Imereti's queens. The two-storeyed Church of St Nicholas is unusual for a Georgian Church while the belltower is one of the oldest surviving towers in Georgia.

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