David Gareja Monastery Complex

David Gareja is a big rock-hewn monastery complex consisting of hundreds of cells, churches, chapels and residential premises located in half-deserted slopes on Georgia – Azerbaijan border, part of the monastery is located in Azerbaijan. Monastery and the whole location was named after its founder – St. David Gareji. In the following the monastery was developed by St. Ilarion 9th c. For centuries the monastery was cultural and religious center with many villages and extensive agricultural areas in its ownership. The economic and cultural development of David Gareja Monastery reached its highest phase from 11th to 13th cc. It was the time of fresco painting renaissance which were of high artistic and historical value, many of them were lost during the years of devastation with the downfall of the Georgian monarchy and invasion of Mongol. In the year of 1615 the monastery survived another attack of Persian invaders and lost many monks, unique manuscripts and frescoes. Nowadays David Gareja is an active monastery with monks in residence.

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