In ancient times, visiting holy sites of Christianity was a reason why people traveled hundreds and thousands of kilometers, devoting years of their lives to such a journey. This is how fervent was their faith and love for the Lord.
To make a pilgrimage today, one can simply find the contacts of a reliable pilgrim center with huge experience in organizing such trips on the Internet.
And choose a destination in his country or the world. Of course, the main pilgrim trips were made to the Holy Land (Israel) and Palestine. But besides that, there are many countries with thousands-year-old traditions and relics of Christianity.
Unfortunately, most of them are now inhabited by representatives of other religions. And the Christian faith is represented by a small minority and visitors. Moreover, some ancient churches have been turned into museums.
There left only a few countries that were among the first to adopt Christianity and it still dominates as the main religion there.
Among them is majestic Georgia. One of the most ancient countries, which we know under the name of Colchis thanks to children’s fairy tales about the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece. And at the time of the spread of Christianity, it was called the Kingdom of Iberia.
It was founded in the 1st century AD. And it was Andrew the Apostle who came to spread the word of God to the ancestors of modern Georgians. And the first miracles are associated with his name. Thus, he resurrected the widow’s son who had died shortly before his arrival. This and other events made people massively convert to the true religion. However, they were persecuted for the first hundreds of years after conversion. Nevertheless, Christianity became the state religion in the 4th century.
Since then, countless unique churches and monasteries have been erected and icons and frescoes have been created. Places of worship and healing springs attract pilgrims from many countries. They give people strength and help their bodies and souls recover.
Visiting Georgia on your own and not missing all the must-see places can be hard. It’s easier to join an organized tour when a pilgrim is taken care of every minute and every step of the way. The Andcross Pilgrim Spiritual and Educational Center has been organizing trips to various countries since 1999, including Georgia. Flights, transfers, routes, hotels, and meetings – you won’t have to worry about all this and can focus on prayer.
In general, pilgrim trips last 8-10 days. Their plans may vary slightly and include visits to different places.
Mtskheta was the ancient capital of the country. It still remains its spiritual center. The Svetitskhoveli Cathedral located there was built in honor of the Twelve Apostles. It has been considered the main cathedral of the country for thousands of years. It is recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. This is the place where the first wooden church in Georgia was erected in the first years after adopting Christianity. In ancient times, the Georgians called the town of Mtskheta the second Jerusalem.
Alazani Valley is called the breadbasket of Georgia. It is full of numerous attractions and natural monuments. The oldest city in the country, Telavi, and the majestic Alaverdi Monastery are located here.
In Bodbe, there located the Monastery of St Nino. She helped to recognize Christianity as the official religion of Georgia, and the erection of this monastery in her honor began immediately after her death. Near the convent, there is a spring with a font basin. The spring and the path leading to it are both astonishing.
Kutaisi is the second capital of Georgia. The Gelati and Motsameta monasteries are located nearby. The first convent is known for its beautiful ancient frescoes, the graves of the famous King David the Builder and other rulers of the country, and the building of the ancient academy. The second monastery was built in the honor of the martyrs who defended the country and the Christian faith from the Islamic conquerors. It’s located on a hill above a picturesque gorge, which is covered with forest.
When arriving at Borjomi valley, visitors are mesmerized by the beauty of the small and cozy St George Monastery, which located in the forest and called Green Monastery. And the town itself is known for its mineral water.
The largest city and capital of the country is Tbilisi. It was founded in the 5th century. Since then, many Orthodox churches have been erected there. The Church of Transfiguration in the Tabor Monastery was built in the 21st century and towers over the city so that it can be seen from almost any point in its central part. The Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi was also built by our contemporaries to commemorate 2,000 years since the adoption of Christianity. It surprises visitors with its majestic size – the total area is more than 5,000 square meters.
And, of course, when visiting the Caucasus, it’s impossible not to devote some time to admiring the beauty of its nature. After all, the most beautiful mountains, gorges, waterfalls, valleys, and rocks are everywhere here. Usually, Andcross provides a couple of free days to rest on the Black Sea shore.
You can find the schedule of the upcoming tours to Georgia on the website of our Pilgrim Spiritual and Educational Center. There are also photos from previous trips and a lot of other useful information for pilgrims.
Pilgrim Ecclesiastic Educational Centre Andcross