Betania Monastery

Betania Monastery

Betania Monastery has the distinction of being the only place in Georgia where worship, church weddings, and baptism were permitted to occur during the ban on religion imposed by Soviet authorities. Named in honour of the birth of the Mother of God, the monastery is located seventeen kilometres from Tbilisi in the beautiful, forest-covered Vere River Valley.
Kvemo Kartli

The History and Paintings of the Monastery

Everything in Betania is just as it was at the turn of the 13th century, when the crossed-dome building was constructed. 

There was once a large lavra here, which is proven by the remains of the monks’ cells. According to the stories, Queen Tamar often visited the monastery.

Along with her father, Giorgi III, and her son, Lasha-Giorgi, Queen Tamar is depicted on the north wall of the church. This is one of only four existing frescoes (the others being in Vardzia, Betania, Kintsvisi, and Bertubani) of Queen Tamar in Georgia.

The church is decorated with paintings of religious scenes, which have been dated to 1207. 

A few steps away from the main church is the St. George Basilica, which was built by Queen Tamar’s aunt Rusudan in 1196.

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