Nekresi Fire Temple

In the heart of Kakheti, near the idyllic wine-making village of Shilda, lies a historical gem that speaks volumes about Georgia's diverse religious past - the Nekresi Fire Temple, also known as The Temple of the Sun. Its location and structure stand as an indelible testimony to the rich tradition of astrology in Georgia, dating back to the country's earliest periods.

The Nekresi Fire Temple, a part of an ancient temple complex, was discovered mere decades ago by local farmers tending their land. After completing the excavation process in 1997, archaeologists revealed the hidden history and architectural significance of this square-shaped edifice, with each side measuring a substantial 50 meters (approximately 164 feet).

The Fire Temple's unique architectural features led researchers to conclude that it was designed to observe celestial bodies, and that it served as a center for teaching astrology. Estimated to have been built in the 2nd century, this pagan center was likely demolished by Christians in the 4th century.

In the vicinity of the Fire Temple, one can find the Nekresi Monastery Complex, home to churches, a basilica, a wine cellar, a tower, and residential buildings erected between the 4th and 18th centuries. The close proximity of these two significant historical landmarks provides a rare chance to witness Georgia's pagan and Christian pasts side by side, making it an intriguing destination for history buffs and curious travelers alike.

Intriguing theories surround the Nekresi Fire Temple, ranging from its association with Zoroastrian fire-worship to suggestions of solar worship based on its alignment with the summer and winter solstices. Alternately, some argue that the temple may have been a Manichean shrine, further enhancing its allure.

Although the temple remains preserved only at a foundation level, it's inscribed on the list of the Immovable Cultural Monuments of National Significance of Georgia. This prestigious recognition underscores its national historical and cultural importance. So, if you wish to trace the footsteps of Georgia's diverse religious and astrological past, the Nekresi Fire Temple is a must-visit destination.

Nearest to Nekresi Fire Temple

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