Gelati Monastery

Gelati Monastery
გელათის მონასტერი

The monastic complex of Gelati
Shown within Georgia (country)
Basic information
Location Kutaisi, Imereti Province (Mkhare), Georgia
Geographic coordinates 42°17′50″N 42°45′40″E / 42.2972°N 42.7611°E / 42.2972; 42.7611Coordinates: 42°17′50″N 42°45′40″E / 42.2972°N 42.7611°E / 42.2972; 42.7611
Affiliation Georgian Orthodox Church
Region Caucasus
Architectural description
Architectural type Georgian; Monastery
Founder David IV of Georgia ("David the Builder")
Completed Church of the Virgin, 1106;
Churches of St. George and St. Nicholas, 13th century
Official name: Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery
Type Cultural
Criteria iv
Designated 1994 (18th session)
Reference no. 710
Region Europe
Endangered 2010present

Gelati (Georgian: გელათის მონასტერი) is a medieval monastic complex near Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of western Georgia. A masterpiece of the Georgian Golden Age, Gelati was founded in 1106 by King David IV of Georgia and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.


Historically, Gelati 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, such as the Mangana Monastery in Constantinople. Among the religious authors were 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". [1]

The Gelati Monastery has preserved a great number of murals and manuscripts dating back to the 12th to 17th centuries. The Khakhuli triptych was enshrined at Gelati until being stolen in 1859. Gelati is the burial site of its founder and one of the greatest Georgian kings David IV. Near King David's grave are the gates of Ganja, which were taken as a trophy by King Demetrius I of Georgia in 1138.


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See also


  1. Chatzidakis, Nano. Byzantine Mosaics, Volume 7. Athens, Greece: Ekdotike Athenon, 1994, p.22

Adapted from the Wikinfo article Gelati Monastery by Levan Urushadze, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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