The 11th century Bagrati Cathedral is something truly impressive to see- cool cream stones and bright turquoise roof, perched on a hilltop outside of Georgia’s second largest city.
Bagrati Cathedral was built in the early years of the 11th century, during the reign of King Bagrat III. In 1692, it was severely damaged by Ottoman troops who had invaded the Kingdom of Imereti. The incident caused the cupola and ceiling to collapse.
Take the cable car up from the old town unless you are devoted to the walk up- the view once you get there is well worth the climb!
Inside you’ll find all the elements typical of an Orthodox church- the icons, partial frescoes (not as many as in some due to the constant invasions and attacks on the cathedral), the lulling smell of incense and the calm quiet- especially because there tend to be fewer tourists here than you might expect. The “highlight” is the Shroud of Jesus with an imprint of his face.
Take the path down and pop into the Botanical Gardens for a bit of nature! English-speaking guides are available.
Bagrati, following essential renovation works to restore it to a functional building, was removed from the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Main image: dmmitalia.com