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Gelati Monastery



The Monastery of Gelati is a monastic complex near Kutaisi, Imereti, western Georgia. It contains the Church of the Virgin founded by the King of Georgia David the Builder in 1106, and the 13th-century churches of St George and St Nicholas.

The Gelati Monastery for a long time was one of the main cultural and intellectual centers in Georgia. It had an Academy which employed some of the most celebrated Georgian scientists, theologians and philosophers, many of whom had previously been active at various orthodox monasteries abroad or at the Mangan Academy in Constantinople. Among the scientists were such celebrated scholars as Ioane Petritsi and Arsen Ikaltoeli.

Due to the extensive work carried out by the Gelati Academy, people of the time called it "a new Hellas" and "a second Athos".

The Gelati Monastery has preserved a great number of murals and manuscripts dating back to the 12th-17th centuries. The Khakhuli triptych had also been enshrined at Gelati until being stolen in 1859.

In Gelati is buried one of the greatest Georgian kings, David the Builder. Near his grave are the gates of Ganja, which were taken as trophies by king Demetrius I in 1139.

In 1994, Gelati Monastery was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The site was included in the 2008 World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites by the World Monuments Fund to draw attention to deterioration caused by prolonged neglect.






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