Gergeti Trinity Church

I can't remember what first inspired me to want to visit Georgia, but there's a good chance it was a photo of Gergeti Holy Trinity Church silhouetted against Mount Kazbek. It's definitely one of Georgia's most iconic images. The Georgian's seem to have a knack for building churches in spectacular locations, and at 2200 metres above sea level, backed by one of the highest peaks in the Caucasus Mountains, this is probably the most spectacular of them all.

Gergeti village backed by the Holy Trinity Church and Mount Kazbek
Mount Kazbek at sunrise, with the silhouette of Gergeti Trinity Church to the left
Gergeti Trinity Church highlighted by the rising sun
Gergeti Trinity Church and bell tower, with Mount Kazbek to the leftGergeti Trinity Church and Mount Kazbek

It took me an hour to walk the 450 metres ascent to the church from Stepantsminda, despite various sources claiming a 3-hour walk (maybe the Wikipedia page is to blame for that). I ignored the signs that followed the road and took a steep path through forest. Walking back down I was able to keep pace with a car for a while as they followed the winding road and I cut through the forest. I became a bit competitive and enjoyed popping out of the trees in front of them...

The church (also known as Tsminda Sameba) was built in the 14th century, with the bell tower following shortly after. In 1913, the ruins of a church were discovered even higher, at over 3900 metres, by climbers on Mount Kazbek.

Cross and Gergeti Trinity Church in silhouette
Church reflection in dirt-track puddle
Gergeti Trinity Church silhouette and moon (black and white)
Black and white photo of Gergeti Trinity Church silhouetted against mountains
Gergeti Trinity Church silhouette at sunset
View from Stepantsminda, with Mount Kazbek shrouded in cloud

Sabertse Pass

A path behind the church leads to Gergeti Glacier via the Sabertse Pass
Sabertse Pass, at 3150 metres high
Sabertse Shrine
Gergeti Trinity and Stepantsminda from the Sabertse Shrine

Views from Gergeti Trinity Church

Kuro Mountain Range
Mountain reflections in a large puddle
Sunset from Gergeti Trinity Church
Gergeti and Stepantsminda from Gergeti Trinity Church

Have you been to Georgia? Have you seen a more scenically located church in the world?

Photos taken with the Canon Powershot G1 X compact camera.


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