Stepantsminda-Sameba - Orthodox monastery near Kazbegi (Georgia)
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Date of build
The church is situated on a hill, at an altitude of 2170 m above sea level, on the left bank of the Terek River, 2 km west of the town of Stepantsminda (formerly Kazbegi).
This 14th century church is the only one in the nearby area that represents dome and cross architecture. 200 years later, a belfry was built in the same style. The whole was surrounded by a wall, of which only a few fragments have survived to this day.
Above the monastery is the Kazbek peak (also known as Mkinwarcweri) reaching 5047 m above sea level.
From Tbilisi to Stepancminda runs the famous picturesque and at the same time dangerous route called the Georgian Military Road.
According to the eighteenth-century author Vakhushti Batonishvila in times of danger, valuable monuments from Mtskheta, including the Holy Cross. Nino was brought here for safekeeping. During the Soviet Union, all religious rites were banned, but the temple remained a popular tourist destination.
Currently, the Church is an active institution of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.
The church is a popular tourist destination for hikers. It can be reached by a steep climb of about two hours or up to a 30-minute Jeep ride on a rough mountain trail.
This is a sacred place for Georgians, because it was stored here in times of danger
national relics such as the cross of Saint Nino.
In 1988, the Soviets constructed a cable railway to the hill with the church, the station was just next to Tsminda Sameby. The Kazbegi community recognized that it was a defect of their holy place and quickly destroyed the queue.
In a small interior there is a quiet and atmospheric atmosphere. The walls are decorated with various bas-reliefs. And at the monk located there, you can buy souvenirs and candles.
It is forbidden to take pictures inside the object, as do women with bare arms or legs (scarves that they can cover).