The Alaverdi Cathedral is located in the Kakheti region of Georgia, in Telavi municipality, near Alaverdi village. It’s about 120 kilometers east of Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia. The fortress is situated in the Alazani River valley providing panoramic views of the Alazani Valley and the Caucasus Mountains.
A brief history of the Alaverdi Cathedral
The Alaverdi Cathedral is an important historical and cultural monument located in the eastern region of Kakheti, Georgia. The cathedral was built in the 11th century on the site of an earlier church and was constructed by the Georgian king Kvirike III and the Catholicos of Georgia, Arsen I.
The cathedral was built in the traditional Georgian style and features a cross-domed design with two side apses. The exterior of the cathedral is adorned with intricate carvings and decorative motifs, while the interior is decorated with frescoes and mosaics.
Over the centuries, the Alaverdi Cathedral has played an important role in the history of Georgia. It served as the seat of the Kakhetian bishops for many years and was also a center of cultural and educational activity. The cathedral was damaged and renovated several times over the years, including during the Mongol invasions in the 13th century and the Persian invasion of the 17th century.
Today, the Alaverdi Cathedral remains an important cultural and religious site, attracting visitors from around the world who come to admire its stunning architecture and learn about its rich history.
Infrastructure around the fortress:
Here are some of the main facilities and services in the vicinity of the monastery:
Parking: There is a good parking lot in front of the monastery complex, which can accommodate cars and tour buses.
Accommodations: There are several small guesthouses and hotels in the town of Alaverdi where visitors can stay, and there are also a few restaurants and cafes that serve local Georgian cuisine. There are also some small shops and markets where visitors can purchase souvenirs, handicrafts, and local products.
Dining: There is a good restaurant, named “Matsoni House” in front of the monastery.
While the infrastructure around the Alaverdi Cathedral is not extensive, it is sufficient to support visitors who come to explore this important historical and cultural site.
How to get there:
There are several ways to get to the cathedral depending on your starting location:
- By car: You can rent a car in Tbilisi or other major cities in Georgia and drive to Alaverdi. The journey takes approximately 2.5-3 hours from Tbilisi, and the roads are generally in good condition.
- By taxi: You can take a taxi from Tbilisi or other nearby towns to Alaverdi. It is recommended to negotiate the price with the taxi driver beforehand.
- By bus: There are regular minibusses and buses that run between Tbilisi and Alaverdi, as well as other nearby towns in the Kakheti region. You can take a bus from the Ortachala bus station in Tbilisi.
- By tour: There are many tour companies in Tbilisi and other major cities in Georgia that offer day trips to Alaverdi and other nearby attractions. This is a convenient option if you prefer to have a guide and transportation arranged for you.
Once you arrive in Alaverdi, the cathedral is located in the center of the town and is easily accessible on foot.
Here are some useful tips for visiting the Alaverdi Cathedral:
- Dress modestly: The Alaverdi Cathedral is a religious site, so it is important to dress modestly out of respect for the local culture and customs. It is recommended to cover your shoulders and knees and to avoid wearing revealing clothing.
- Hire a guide: While it is possible to explore the cathedral on your own, hiring a guide can enhance your experience by providing you with more in-depth knowledge and historical context. Guides can be hired at the entrance of the cathedral or through a tour company.
- Respect the local customs: The Alaverdi Cathedral is an important religious site for the local community, so it is important to be respectful of the local customs and traditions. This includes removing your shoes before entering the cathedral, refraining from taking photos during services or prayers and being mindful of your behavior inside the cathedral.
- Check the opening hours: The opening hours of the Alaverdi Cathedral can vary depending on the time of year, so it is recommended to check the official website or contact the cathedral in advance to confirm the opening hours.
- Bring water and snacks: While there are some facilities around the Alaverdi Cathedral, it is still recommended to bring water and snacks with you, especially if you plan to spend a few hours exploring the area.
- Visit nearby attractions: There are several other historical and cultural sites located near the Alaverdi Cathedral, including the Ikalto Monastery and the Gremi Citadel and Church. Consider visiting these attractions to learn more about the history and culture of the region.
Tours via the Kakheti region
Alaverdi Cathedral on a map