2 February, 2022 seen 532Restaurant Dzveli Gelati (Old Gelati in English) is located outside of Kutaisi in small village Motsameta. I had a chance to have a dinner here during a short one day tour around Kutaisi (Bagrati Cathedral, Gelati monastery and of course Motsameta monastery). Dzveli Gelati restaurant serves a traditional Georgian cuisine, prices seemed somehow above average…
Motsameta monastery is one of the most spectacular sites I have visited while being living in Georgia. To get here yo will need either to own your vehicle or hire a taxi, probably there are organized tours as well heading to Motsameta monastery.
I first visited this site in Spring 2015, unfortunately it was already a night and I didn't see much nor photographed anything decent here, the next time I visited Motsameta was in Autumn 2015, together with my mom, this time I was better prepared and it was a day.
Rail tracks near Motsameta monastery
There is actually a train making a stop in front of the entrance at Motsameta monastery, the Train is connecting Kutaisi and Tkibuli
Forest surrounding Motsameta monastery
From the main entrance you must go some additional 500 meters to actually reach monastery complex. As you go you are pampered with spectacular views like forest seen in above image
And then you will notice a fragment from a fairy tail - Motsameta monastery standing still at the end of he cliff.
Valley surrounding Motsameta monastery
I'm not sure is it a valley or a canyon, but view are just spectacular
Gorge on Tskatsitela river near Motsameta monastery
Rear view of Motsameta monastery complex
This site looks more like a very well fortified fortress instead of a religious place.
Entrance gates at Motsameta monastery
Cupola inside the church building
Visitors at Motsameta monastery complex
Plants at Motsameta monastery
Cliffs near Motsameta monastery
Rocks near Motsameta monastery
About Motsameta monastery
Motsameta Monastery is smaller and quieter than the one in Gelati, although its cliff-edge setting is more spectacular by far. It is located 6km out of Kutaisi, off the Gelati road. Take the turning marked by a photo of the church and follow this track for a couple of kilometres. This little monastery has a spectacular setting on a cliff-top promontory above a bend of the Tskhaltsitela River. Situated dizzily high above the ravine of the Tskhaltsitela River, the monastery offers awe-inspiring views of the river and the surrounding countryside from any number of buildings and points on the grounds. Extremely isolated and seldom visited by tourists, this place will give you an unadulterated taste of the monastic life.
The church itself is on a site on which there had been a church and village since the fourth century. The name Motsameta is derived from the Georgian word for martyrdom. Two brothers, David and Constantine Mkheidze, were lords of this region in the eighth century. Sometime between 720 and 730, succumbing to a superior Arab force, they were captured and tortured for refusing to convert to Islam. They were thrown into the Rioni River with stones tied around their necks and their bodies washed up on the riverbank below the monastery. They were buried as martyrs in the crypt of the church, which was also destroyed by the Arabs at the time of the brothers' death.