St. Elia Monastery

Nestled in the southern part of Dedoplistskaro in Georgia's Kakheti region, the St. Elia Monastery stands tall on a double-peaked limestone mountain. Known as the home to the sixth-century Temple of Saint Ilia Tezbiteli, this captivating site is a beacon for pilgrims who flock here each year on August 2nd to honor the Great Prophet.

Despite the uncertainties surrounding its exact date of construction, archaeological excavations reveal that the temple, believed to be built in the sixth century CE, was fully restored in 2006. The Monastery has withstood countless storms and invaders over centuries, its survival today is largely attributed to the tireless efforts of local resident and Patriarchate architect, Sergo Kartvelishvili.

Noted French author Alexandre Dumas mentioned the site during his 1858 visit to Georgia, captivated by the tale of the prophet Ilia who, according to legend, ascended to heaven from the top of the mountain. This mountain, steeped in mystery, houses a bell tower within its expansive cave, frequented by residents who cherish its spiritual significance.

The legendary prophet left his cloak to his student Elise, an artifact now believed to be interred at the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral near the garment worn by Jesus before his crucifixion. This connection to the divine only amplifies the allure of the St. Elia Monastery.

An intriguing secret lies within the mountain hosting the St. Elia Monastery. A collapsed tunnel entrance remains visible, once leading to the nearby Khornabuji castle. While its complete path and additional exits remain a mystery, the surviving entrance offers a tangible connection to the past.

Presently, the Monastery's twin-domed limestone temple appears as an integral part of the mountain, attracting locals, tourists, and international pilgrims alike with its unique blend of mystery and sacred tradition. A testament to the resilience of faith and Georgia's rich spiritual heritage, the St. Elia Monastery continues to inspire all who venture to this extraordinary sanctuary.

Nearest to St. Elia Monastery

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