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“Strange people around”

Shuamta Monasteries
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$220.00*
and up
Kakheti One Day Tour: Telavi-Kvareli-Signagi and Wine Tasting
Reviewed May 11, 2012

There are two Shuamta Monasteries: old and new. Near Old Shuamta we were really attacked by 4!!! people trying to sell us candles. We had to pretend to be only-english-speaking persons to escape :). New Shuamta was closed, but there was a special bell to ring in order to get inside. We rang but nobody opened. So we didn't see New Shuamta.

8  Thank Olena66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 24 of 41 reviews

Reviewed April 24, 2012

That is a wonderful place. Little monasteries hidden deep in the mountains, on the top of the hill. It seems to be living it's own life far from real world.
It is the best to hire a taxi from Telavi for the whole day and make a driver take you all the great places aroun town. You will reach the parking under Shaumta and tha you have to walk up for around 45 min. If you are lucky you will get a lift with old truck as they transport supplyes to the monasterys.
Don't miss the paintings inside the monastery and a trip to the top of the tower.

1  Thank very-sunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2012

You will need a private transfer to get you to Shuamta medieval monasteries, a remarkable early Christian monument of two ensembles of Dzveli (“Old”) and Akhali (“New”) Shuamta in 7km south-west from Telavi and about 154kmn north-east from Tbilisi. The monastery complex of Shuamta (meaning “a place between the mountains”) is hidden in the forest off Tbilisi-Telavi highway.

We started our visit with ancient Dzveli Shuamta monastery, situated further in the forest. It stands on the edge of the flat hill, at the end of a clearing in the woods. Its complex consists of three churches: a V century basilica and two domed churches of VII century of the then popular type sampled by Jvari Church in Mtsheta.

Dzveli Shuamta is no longer an acting sanctuary, but believers still attend it to place a candle and say a prayer. There is an improvised altar with several icons inside the Grand domed church. Other than that, its interior is very simple and severe. But the whole place, with no limitations of clerical rules and rituals, had peaceful and placatory atmosphere. And a “wish-tree” in a Georgian tradition, with the ribbons tied over its branches by those who made a wish here, looked natural and appropriate…

In the XVI century, as Dzveli Shuamta sank into decay, the newer Akhali Shuamta was laid down in 2km away from the old monastery by Kakheti Queen Tina (Tinatin) Gurieli, wife of King Levan II. To reach this newer monastery, you can either walk back along the road through a scenic forest, or make a very short drive.

Unlike Dzveli Shuamta, Akhali is an acting nunnery rather than a historic place. So respectful dress-code as well as observation of the rules of conduct is encouraged here.

Akhali Shuamta ensemble is represented by a larger domed church and a bell tower. In XIX the principal church of the monastery was an ancestral burial place of Chavchavadze family.

Since the establishment of the monastery, its inside walls were decorated with the frescoes. But after abolishment of Georgian Autocephaly by Russian Church in XIX, these frescoes, dating back to XVI century, were whitened out. In 2007-2008, Akhali Shuamta had undergone major reconstruction, within the course of which the white paint had been removed to partially release some of these frescoes. Also, the Queen Tinatin Tower had been restored.

Both complexes are not to be missed, when you explore Telavi area.

8  Thank Cora_v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2017
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1  Thank Vladislava A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2017
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Thank bbneum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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