Jumati Monastic Complex

Jumati Monastic Complex

In Guria Region, 15 km away from the town of Ozurgeti, on Jumati Mountain, stands a monastery of the feudal age. The complex has played a significant role in Guria’s religious and educational life. The Jumati Monastery was built in honor of St. Archangels Michael and Gabriel. In the 15th-19th centuries, it was the episcopal center of Jumati and the storage place for precious icons and other treasures.

The History of Jumati Monastery

In 1877-1878, during the Russo-Turkish war, when one of the front lines used to pass through Guria, Russian photographer Dmitri Ermakov visited the region. Ermakov photographed the Jumati monastery and the relics kept within its walls, preserving valuable historical evidence.

The monastery was looted many times at the beginning of the 20th century, after the establishment of the Bolshevik government. By 1924, almost everything was lost. 

The Jumati monastery relics appeared at different times in different countries and different private collections. Among them, two fragments of the golden icon of St. George of the XI-XII centuries were found and are now kept in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. The medallion of St. Theodore is also in the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, and whatever else Georgians managed to piece together is now preserved in the Shalva Amiranashvili Art Museum of Georgia.

During the communist regime, a military unit was stationed on the monastery territory for several years. Monastic life was restored in Jumati Monastery on November 21, 1990, and church service is still regularly held.

Jumati Monastery Today

Now, the monastic complex consists of the St. Archangels church (which is the main temple). The church was built in the 6th century, renovated in the 12th century, and painted in the 18th century. On the territory are also two small churches, Khare and Mirkami (built in the 1990s), and a bell tower, built in 1904. 

The old bell tower of the monastery, the upper part of which is now destroyed, was famous for its unique sound. According to the narration, the sound of the bells could be heard far away in Samegrelo and Imereti. The monastery is surrounded by a high stone wall.

At 492 meters above sea level, a beautiful panorama spreads over the horizon from the courtyard of the temple. Other eye-catching sites to see in good weather are the Colchis Plain, Paliastomi Lake, the eastern part of the Black Sea, and the gray silhouette of Ialbuzi mountain.

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