MOTSAMETA (მოწამეთა)

Not far from Gelati Monastery, little Motsameta Monastery sits on a spectacular clifftop promontory above a bend of the Tskhaltsitela River. The river’s name, ‘Red Water,’ derives from an 8th-century Arab massacre. Among the victims were the brothers’ Davit and Konstantin Mkheidze, dukes of Argveti. Their bodies were thrown into the river, but, the story goes, they were miraculously brought up to the monastery site by lions. The brothers’ bones are kept on a side altar in the church. If you make a wish and crawl three times under it, your wish will supposedly be granted. Unfortunately, the church has had its icons repainted, which has diminished its atmosphere; for now, the main reason to come here is the setting of the monastery with a great view.

Parking location – Motsameta: 42.283816N 42.753710E (🚻, 🅿️-2GEL)