If you are traveling to region of Kakheti and your road is leading through Telavi town, there are few interesting tourist sites to visit and one of them is a very old monastery complex called Dzveli Shuamta.

For the first time I visited this site together vith my mom in the middle of October 2015. It was a rainy and foggy day so not very spectacular images this time, anyway Dzveli Shuamta still has one of the oldest Christian churches of Georgia – the triple-nave basilica that dates back to the 5th century. Two other cross-domed churches were built in the 7th century. The walls of these churches still have fragments of frescos and inscriptions made in the old Georgian Asomtavruli alphabet. The monastery is situated in a hollow between forest-covered mountains so that it has natural protection from three sides. The fourth side used to be fortified by a thick wall. A tradition has it St. King Tamar once spent 40 days fasting in solitude on Shuamta hill. Source: Kakheti.travel

Dzveli Shuamta monastery complex near Telavi

Dzveli Shuamta monastery complex near Telavi

Clay pots for storing wine

Clay pots for storing wine

I don't know for sure the reason why those clay pots are so popular in territories of monasteries in Georgia, but you will find them a lot. Probably ancient Georgian wine making traditions are closely related to monks?!

Prayers corner inside Dzveli Shuamta church

Prayers corner inside Dzveli Shuamta church

I assume for a donation to the church you can get some of the cards or prayer candles.

Cupola inside Dzveli Shuamta monastery

Cupola inside Dzveli Shuamta monastery

This one actually is very interesting cupola just because it's not featuring any paintings or gold elements (as it is common for cupolas) at all.

Simple altar at Dzveli Shuamta church

Simple altar at Dzveli Shuamta church

Dzveli Shuamta monastery complex

Dzveli Shuamta monastery complex

Dzveli Shuamta monastery complex

Dzveli Shuamta monastery complex