Alaverdi Monastery and Cathedral, Georgia

At Alaverdi, on the other side of the pass we visited a monastery that has a cathedral within its walls.  Until the new Tbilisi Cathedral it was the tallest Georgian church.  It, like the Tbilisi church, has a soaring feeling of light even though the walls are decorated with frescoes.  These frescoes were covered with whitewash or plaster by Moslem invaders, restored, and covered again by the Communists.  A monk Joseph (Yoseb) Alaverdeli founded the cathedral.  But Alaverdi has another meaning in Arabic “God Provides.”  God provides good grape and Alaverdi Monastery is at the center of Georgia’s wine industry. The monks produce and sell wine.  Traditional Georgian is not aged in wood but rather in huge clay jars buried in the garden, with the interior coated in beeswax.  Alaverdi advertises its wine as Kosher.

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