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Canyon of Martvili


Among of the many unique natural showplaces of Georgia is considered Martvili canyon. Over million years water has come through the cliffs from limestone and had created breathtaking canyon with depth up to 40 meters, at the bottom of which is actually river flows. At the beging of the canyon is located 7 meter high powerful waterfall. There had once were carried archaeological excavations, and scientists have found on its steep "Tides" fossils of dinosaurs. The age of these finds - more than 75 million years! In Martvili there is located an old monastery, which consists from the Main temple (VII-X centuries), the church Mtsire Chikvani (X century), pillar (XI century) and the boundary walls with the secondary buildings.This monastery is called Chkondidi, built in the 7th century. During the reign of Abkhazian kings was as a king's tomb and was considered as one of the most important monasteries in Georgia. Its name comes from the Megrelian "Chkoni" - Oak. That is, the "Big Oak" - Chkon-Didi. The main temple, the Assumption Cathedral, was built in the 7th century AD on the place of an ancient pagan temple. On the hill was growing a huge sacred oak, which Megrelians sacrificed. After the adoption of Christianity oak had cut down and there was built a church. No one knows how the monastery looked before the invasion of the Arabs. Later, the main temple was constructed. The Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary - the largest building on the territory of the monastery, built in the 10th century. The cathedral domed, the dome itself a conical, that is still in the Persian style, but not in the Byzantine. The dome rests on the wall (not the columns), and the whole church is clearly expressed in the plan of the cross shape rather tetraconch. This clearly indicates its antiquity, since after the beginning of VII century tetraconch almost did not build in Georgia. Nearby is located the church, known as the temple of Christmas. The monastery became a kind of city-forming for the city of Martvili. Historically, it was one of the most respected Georgian monastery.


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