A sandstone rock wall frames the Uplistsikhe fortress and ninth century church, along the Mtkvari River near the town of Gori.
David Garedja Monastery
Founded in the 6th century by the Holy Syrian Fathers, David Garedja has survived Mongol raid, Islamic challenge, even artillery practice from the Soviet Army. Now newly-discovered monasteries begin to reveal ancient secrets.
Church of St. George at Ipari
In the Church of St. George at Ipari, on the road to Ushguli, frescoes painted in 1130 by Theodore, court artist of David the Builder, still radiate the sensibility of another age.
West of the old capital of Mtskheta the Holy Syrian Fathers established the Shiom-ghvine monastery in the 6th century. Here the frescoes have been renovated and added to over the centuries in cultural and religious continuity.
An Ossetian woman of Gudauri displays her hand-woven belts for passers-by, hoping to turn her traditional skills into a source of income. The fall of communism has created a new awareness of cultural value and self-reliance.
The eerie face of an earth spirit peers from solid granite in this contemporary sculpture near the village of Sno. The face seems to look up toward the peaks of the High Caucasus, or into the uncertain future itself.
Last light barely illuminates the ruins of Gremi fortress, built in 1565. Now a village known for its brandy, Gremi was the capital of Kakheti from 1466 to 1616, when it was destroyed by Islamic armies.
Hollyhocks stand proudly in the fields of Gremi, seemingly dwarfing the distant fortress.