Since ancient times, the Dariali Gorge has acted as a road between what is modern-day Russia and Georgia. Even today, you’ll see countless trucks lining up at the border crossing to facilitate trade.
The Dariali Monastery is considerably newer than this ancient trade route, with construction having begun in 2005 under the guidance of the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II. The monks living there today were involved in the building and decoration of the monastery, including the decorative mosaics, fine metalwork, and the construction of twelve different churches. The first of these, the Michael and Gabriel Archangel Church, opened in 2011.
The main church of the monastery complex is modeled after another church which was built at the beginning of the 11th century in Nikortsminda. Although the monastery is new, the architects have chosen to build it with gray-rose stone, which gives it its weathered look.
The monastery is in operation every day, and the doors are always open for visitors. There is a beautiful library, a cheese production, and a unique wine cellar.
From the monastery, there is an exceptional view of the river and its valley, along with the massive mountains.