Kashveti Church


The first church on this site is supposed to have been built in the 6th century by Davit Gareja, one of the ascetic ‘Syrian fathers’ who returned from the Middle East to spread Christianity in Georgia. Kashveti means ‘Stone Birth’: according to legend, a nun accused him of making her pregnant. He replied that if that were true, she’d give birth to a baby, and if not, to a stone, which duly happened.

The existing 1910 building, designed by Leopold Bielfeld, is a copy of the 11th-century Samtavisi Church, 60km northwest of Tbilisi.