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Telavi, Georgia is a historical region in eastern Georgia that is situated in Kakheti. A visit to Telavi can be an unforgettable experience because of its splendid mountain landscapes, great areas, antique world churches and monasteries, scenic valleys and rivers and home to juicy grapes that grows under the warmth of the sun. Telavi is not only a popular place among tourists, but it is also known worldwide as Georgia’s center for winemaking. A city that is situated at 490 meters above sea level, Telavi is open to fresh and clean air because of this.

Sightseeing places:

Batonis Tsikhe – served as a fortress before and is very rich in Telavi history. Batonis Tsikhe locally means the Masters Fortress and was once occupied by Kakhetin tsars during the 17th century.

In the picturesque Telavi vicinities there stands John Zedazeni monastic complex. It was constructed in the 7th - 8th centuries next to the old fortress. The internal northern wall is decorated by pictures. The eastern part includes the altar with three windows above it. In the same part of the temple under the stone bed John Zedazeni was buried. The spring near Zedazeni monastery is considered to be filled with holy water. Bochorma, the main Kakhetin fortress, is located on a hillside 1,000 m above the sea level. From such a height the surroundings from all sides were visible as far as eyes could see. Such ideal site made Bochorma fortress the political centre of ancient Kakheti kingdom in the 10 th century.

Telavi Georgia today is now a large contemporary city. Tourists will definitely enjoy their stay in Telavi because of its wide variety of historical attractions located here.

The little provincial town of Gurdzhaani near Telavi is famous for its unique monument of medieval Georgian architecture – Kvelatsminda church – the only two-domed church in Georgia. It looks quite modest - a grey stone temple with the cross-shaped facade and rectangular in plan. In the middle of the temple directly from the roof two absolutely symmetrical small square turrets covered with umbellate domes rise. The unique church entrance – a small door in the arch doorway - is situated in the cross-shaped facade and is elevated high above the ground. Even without external furnish the temple looks very impressive; it has practically saved its initial shape and bears the spirit of ancient times.


By the 12th century Telavi was one of the essential trade centers in Georgia. In the 13th century Telavi was caught in the onslaught of the Mongol invasion, to revive in the 15th to 16th centuries, and then be twice devastated by the Persia’s Shah Abbas I in the early 17th century. In 1672 the Kakhetian King Archil II moved his court back to Telavi from Gremi. In 1744, as the Turks threatened Persian hegemony in eastern Georgia, Nader Shah of Persia installed the local prince Erekle II in Telavi as ruler of Kakheti. Erekle and his father, King Teimuraz II of Kartli, managed to establish themselves as de facto independent rulers, and in 1762 Erekle united Kakheti and Kartli as a more or less independent state, ruling with a progressive Westernising policy. Erekle still occupies an honoured place in Kakheti annals today.

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