Among the rugged terrain and mountains in the country of Georgia, situated at the dividing line of Asia and Europe, is the Gergeti Trinity Church. Georgia has numerous secluded villages, extraordinary mountains ranges and beautiful churches. However, the Gergeti Church combines all three elements and is one of Georgia’s most sacred destinations.

Only six miles from the Russian border, this little known and mysterious church sits atop the third largest mountain in the country and has become one of the most popular sites in Georgia. It was built in the fourteenth century, but not much is known of its history. What historians do know is that this medieval church was used as a hiding place during invasions at different times throughout Georgia’s history. Many of the national treasures, including Saint Nino’s Cross, were hidden at Gergeti because it would be difficult for enemies to reach due to the rugged terrain reaching 7,720 feet high. During the Soviet era, all religious services were forbidden, but the church remained a popular tourist destination. The church is now an active establishment of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.

The architecture in the Gergeti Trinity Church boasts the only dome church in the northern part of Georgia. A small bell tower is located adjacent to the church, decorated with carvings and statues. The church itself is simple with small windows that create a mysterious twilight. Unfortunately, no photographs of the church interior are allowed.

The church is isolated as it is surrounded by the vastness of nature, which is worth the trip simply for the view itself. Adventurous hikers can reach the church with an arduous three-hour climb. Less adventurous visitors can take a 30-minute jeep ride up the rough mountain trail.

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.