Canyons in Georgia,

Martvili Canyon | Kutaisi

2:09 PM UrbanModish 0 Comments

The Martvili Canyon, used to be a bath place for Georgian Nobles, Dadiani family. It is a natural wonder in the Samegrelo region of Georgia, near the town of Martvili. Also called the Gachedili Canyon, it is about a 45 minute drive from the city of Kutaisi in West Georgia.

The canyon is divided into two parts, Upper and Lower. You can ride a boat along the canyon from the Upper part that leads to a waterfall falling from the height of about 12 meters. Thanks to the climate of the terrain and high humidity, the walls of the canyon are covered with moss, you will also see lianas that grow along the whole length of the canyon, small streams and waterfalls. A truly fabulous picture!

You can also walk along the Dadiani trial. To be honest both the boat ride and the trail was a bit of a disappointment because they were both very short. However, they were beautiful.

In the lower part of the canyon there is a “pool” where you can swim and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature. Even on the hottest day the water here is cool, therefore this place is very popular among locals who come to Martvili to run away from the summer heat. In summer days, the canyon is full of tourists and locals. 
GEL 28 for boat trip and trail entrance fee.

While visiting Martivili canyon it is worth to visit the Martvil Monastery (Chkondidi) of the VI century, which is on the way to the canyon. In 735 the monastery was burnt, the paintings on the walls were destroyed. And only a century and a half later it was restored. Today, on the territory of the monastery there is the temple of the Assumption of the Virgin, the church of the 10th century, in the south-west there is a 20-meter-high pillar and chapel, which was built on the site of an old destroyed chapel.
I didn't visit the monastery, but have heard the below about it:
On its highest hill there is a Monastery. The site upon the hill where the monastery stands today was used in ancient times as a pagan cultural center and was a sacred site. There once stood an ancient and enormous oak tree that was worshipped as an idol of fertility and prosperity. Infants were once sacrificed here as well. After the conversion of the native population to Christianity, the ancient tree was cut down so as not to worship it anymore. A church was originally constructed in the late 7th century upon the roots of the old oak tree and was named in honor of Saint Andrew who preached Christianity and converted the pagans across the Samegrelo region. 

The main Martvili-Chkondidi Cathedral (Mingrelian: Chkoni translates to “oak”) was reconstructed in the 10th century after invasions that destroyed the prior church. Preserved in the church are frescoes of the 14th to 17th centuries.

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