Taş Camii

in Uzundere

Though it's been partially repurposed as a mosque since the 16th century, this late 10th-century church building was once part of a big Georgian monastery, a centre of arts and learning known as Khakhuli. From outside you can admire the conical dome of multicoloured tiles, resting on an elegant drum with blind arcading and eight windows.

The doorway of the south-side porch is interestingly carved, with angels holding a cross above it, and biblical scenes and animals carved on the jambs. This main section is in a reasonable state of repair and the imam is usually happy to let visitors inside to see the apse's fresco fragments in return for a small donation to its upkeep. Other monastery buildings and part of the original church are semi-derelict and used as barns and woodsheds.

From Uzundere, drive 6km south on the D950 then 6km west using wide, well-paved lanes forking left in Pehlivanlı then right by the ATM in Bağbaşı. Dolmuş services run a few times daily to Tortum (the town, not Tortum Gölü) and on to Erzurum.