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Research Team
Relive the day's action and insights with daily journal entries, digital photos, audio reports and more. Select one of the teams below to visit their latest entry.

Field Team
Follow Pat O'Hara's search for the perfect moment in the national parks of the Eastern Caucasus. Eleanor O'Hanlon reports, with photos by Russell Sparkman.

RESEARCH TEAM
Georgia veteran Peter Nasmyth returns to guide us into the history and heritage of the region. Denise Rocco captures it all in digital images.

April 29:
In Ancient Groves

April 28:
Batumi and Beyond

April 26:
Fly Tusheti Air

April 25:
An Image of Eden

April 24:
The Road of Friendship

April 22:
Patriarch of the Forest

April 21:
Monastery in the Desert

April 20:
Vashlovani Reserve

April 19:
The Living Pillar

April 18:
Preparing for the Journey

April 17:
Georgian Table

April 12:
Tbilisi Overview

Email Teams in Georgia
 
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Previous Dispatch

Following the children's gaze it's not surprising to find the giant, sandstone cupola of Georgia's most important church – the cathedral of Sveti Tskhoveli, church of the Life-Giving Pillar. Standing at the apex of land between both rivers it occupies the site of a former Zoroastrian temple, the place where St. Nino brought Christianity to Georgia, celebrating the fact by weaving a cross of vine branches with strands of her own hair. The knot slipped and formed the now famous sloping armed cross, today's emblem of Georgian Orthodoxy. Taking a closer look I notice this is the cross the child now holds.

Half an hour later we step through the cathedral gate guarded by pagan bull heads, and into the echoing, dark interior. Lit by burning candles and slim shafts of blue daylight, slowly the eyes accustom to a gentle gray illumination that seems to spread out like a carpet under the 11th century dome. The chamber carries a calming atmosphere, as all around the colored faces and images of Georgian frescos climb the walls from their many different centuries. Worshipers move quietly from icon to icon, lighting candles, praying, considering; a small choir briefly bursts into life, until the participants melt away into the cavernous stone chamber.

Next Dispatch
 

Painting at Sveti Tskhoveli Cathedral
 
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Frescos in Sveti Tskhoveli
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