‘Kazbegi - The most famous church in the Caucasus’
At a previous picture I have already written that Georgians have a strong preference for very special and spectacular locations to build their churches and monasteries.
This is certainly the case with the Church of Tsminda Sameba or Holy Trinity near the village Kazbegi.
Sometimes it’s also called the Gergeti Trinity Church.
It was built in the 14th century at an elevation of 2.170 meters on the edge of a cliff looking out over Kazbegi.
From the capital, Kazbegi can be reached in less than 3 hours by public transport (marshrutka = minibus). This village (also called Stepantsminda, or St. Stephen) is situated at 1.750 meters above sea level along the road that leads to Russia.
From there it is quite a climb to the church. Many people however take a taxi jeep up and walk downhill after the visit. The most courageous start very early in the morning and climb further to a glacier situated at 2.950 meters.
Accommodation can easily be found in Kazbegi and in Gergeti, a neighboring village.
I included the jeep on the picture so this would give a better idea of the scale. You can also see people going up the path to the church.
Information from Wikipedia:
The Gergeti Trinity Church was built in the 14th century, and is the only cross-cupola church in Khevi province.
The separate belltower dates from the same period as the church itself.
Its isolated location on top of a steep mountain surrounded by the vastness of nature has made it a symbol for Georgia.
The 18th century Georgian author Vakhushti Batonishvili wrote that in times of danger, precious relics from Mtskheta, including Saint Nino's Cross were brought here for safekeeping. During the Soviet era, all religious services were prohibited, but the church remained a popular tourist destination. The church is now an active establishment of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.
The church is a popular waypoint for trekkers in the area, and can be reached by a steep 3 hour climb up the mountain, or around 30 minutes by jeep up a rough mountain trail.
lousat, rigoletto, worldcitizen, Kaisa71, Kamilutka, timecapturer, williewhistler, ikeharel, holmertz, Romano46, SnapRJW, Sonata11, abmdsudi, krzychu30, photoray, jhm, Oceania, Cricri, chrislo, papagolf21, adramad, ourania, Royaldevon, jcpix, COSTANTINO, kato, Graal, delpeoples, fritzi007, mirosu, RhodieIke, adores, aliabazari, Angshu, PiotrF has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
jrleborgne (1554) 2014-02-17 14:28
That's an impressive view as well as the eroded background.
In winter, it must be a very rough location.
mesutilgim (96248) 2014-02-17 14:29
Within your latter entries from Georgia this one is absolutely the best one.
A perfect TE entry with many interesting notes.
TFS and best regards
Giustiniani (3632) 2014-02-17 15:07
un vue magnifique avec beaucoup de profondeur, une lumière et des couleurs superbes. Une photo très réussie et des notes intéressantes.
carlo62 (51994) 2014-02-17 15:20
una foto fantastica, mi piace molto, il contrasto tra questa chiesa, che sembra molto piccola, e la fiancata di questa montagna è impressionante.
Viene quasi da trattenere il respiro.
rigoletto (34279) 2014-02-17 15:33
A big WoW!
This photo has that "thing" which would pull many people into the depths of Georgia, if they have anything to do with it.
And only 4 comments out of 68 views?
I sometimes wonder what the people around here expect to see in a photo. Maybe "boring" equals "amazing" for many, i am not an expert in mass psychology...
ChrisJ (116674) 2014-02-17 16:35
Again this looks strikingly similar to the terrain an architecture around the old Armenian capital of Ani. Well framed shot of the church set against a stunning backdrop of green craggy mountains. Good sharpness too! Tfs!
npecanhuk (75660) 2014-02-17 17:37
Very interesting, attractive and unique place!
Sharpness, exposure, colors, vertical format, black & white borders, chosen pov and composition are all excellent!
TFS - congrats,
worldcitizen (8980) 2014-02-17 18:22
Wow, what an amazing setting for a church: rugged, isolated, and very beautiful. You can almost touch the clouds. I like that you chose to show only the mountains and not the sky; it has a more dramatic effect. It's also great to have the car there for a sense of scale. It looks so tiny!
Antipodean (1312) 2014-02-17 20:18
Kia ora Paul (greetings from New Zealand),
great composition. Your picture encompasses the immensity of the Caucasus & the little puff of cloud adds interest. Cheers, Neil
Corry (4508) 2014-02-17 21:09
Superbe vue vertigineuse de cette église isolée construite au sommet de la montagne. Sans faire de jeu de mots, l'image a beaucoup de profondeur. Belle lumière sur le paysage. Bien fait.
jemaflor (100065) 2014-02-17 23:23
quel impressionnant pdv sur cet édifice ! Superbe composition avec cette vallée verdoyante et minérale en fond d'image, jolie mise en valeur du site.
emka (102484) 2014-02-17 23:25
Hi Paul, I think you are right, it is the most famous view of Georgia, anyway I have it on the cover of my guide book. Wonderful view and I hope to see it. I wonder what will be weather in April. I suppose I will not be ambitious to climb farther to the glaciers. Thanks for the informations how to get there. I read somewhere in Internet that some assaults happened there, so it is better I will be with my friend there, not alone.
I can't wait for my trip to Sakartvelo (საქართველო):).
Warm regrads MAlgo
macjake (70515) 2014-02-18 1:34
this is a very powerful photo with so much visual Impact! really caught my attention from the start.
looks like the Monestary is actually abandoned!
the backdrop scenery steals the show!
great to see the people walking up too.
wonderful post for te
lousat (94674) 2014-02-18 2:22
Hi Paul,one of the most spectacular pics from your last trip,absolutely magic,what a place and what a scenery in background,i like your great exposure to have the best details on the church in the shadow,great colors and a very special atmosphere,thanks another time for your beautiful and interesting work from this country.Have a nice day,Luciano
Kaisa71 (228) 2014-02-18 3:05
What a great and rugged area! I like the colors green and gray and sunshine makes nice effects. Sharpness is excellent especially on the background. Really good that you included the car and people on the photo as otherwise it would be difficult to realize the size and height of the area. The church is not small either so the mountains are HUGE! Very good photo, thanks for sharing.
Kamilutka (8107) 2014-02-18 3:22
now this picture deserves special attention since is absolutely gorgeous! I know you brought loads of great photos from Georgia but I would go there eve just for this one :-)
What a scenery! The church situated on the hill is lovely example of eastern architecture and the tiny jeep indeed gives a sense of scale of the whole building. But what strikes me most are the surroundings, the green and grey slopes around give superb background .
Thanks for sharing this great picture!
timecapturer (49288) 2014-02-18 5:47
Wow! What a setting for a church. This view is just amazing and captures the imagination so sharply. Your shot gives us a superb idea of the scale and beauty of this stunning place. Awesome!
Sergiom (84337) 2014-02-18 6:15
La petite voiture sur la gauche donne une belle impression de l'immensité de ce paysage. Le cadrage vertical aide à situer et donne une très grande ampleur à l'arrière plan. Les nuages nous indiquent bien la hauteur ou tu te trouves.
williewhistler (16404) 2014-02-18 6:26
it is the most spectacular of landscapes and there dwarfed by it`s surroundings in the middle is a beautiful church,what a view,what a terrific travel photograph.Very well done,it`s a shot that has everything.
Best regards Les.
holmertz (56075) 2014-02-18 9:55
What a perfect little cloud! I love the rest of the photo too ;-). It's an amazing view, most of all maybe the mixture of green and blueish areas along the mountainsides, and of course the well placed church. The greatest advantage of the composition is that you have left ot any part of the sky. Just staring into a massive wall of mountain without knowing its height is fascinating.
Romano46 (18472) 2014-02-18 10:17
il soggetto era già bello di suo, ma la maniera con la quale hai saputo inquadrarlo inserendolo in un contesto grandioso ti hanno portato a fare una foto di straordinario impatto visivo.
Ottimo il taglio, straordinari i colori e notevole la definizione apprezzabile nel magnifico grande formato.
Un lavoro eccellente lodevole nella perfetta esecuzione.
Ciao e buona serata
SnapRJW (31629) 2014-02-18 10:23
Hello Paul - What an incredible location for a church perched on a hill and backed by a fascinating scoured mountainside. I can imagine how the landscape inspires people and surely the builders of the church were motivated to build here by the magnificent scenery. Superb post and excellent note. Warm regards Rosemary
rbassin (23967) 2014-02-18 10:34
Une très belle composition, le POV est superbe et met en évidence la position de l'église face à ce magnifique paysage.
Sonata11 (33969) 2014-02-18 21:09
Wow! what a gorgeous mountain view. Amazingly beautiful place to spend a vacation and totally relax. Colors are fabulous. Very, very beautiful. I love it. Perfect snapshot. Tfs.
Best regards, Barbara
Hanssie (10886) 2014-02-19 1:26
No sky..... that's strong !
Amazing picture with the churches but
also the rough world behind, "high" quality !
ikeharel (74701) 2014-02-19 8:19
A magnificent perspective down the trough, with the sight of the double-towers church on a prominent location.
The car parked on the middle of a green field, left side of picture, amazingly collected and gave good scale to the whole.
nikkitta (17066) 2014-02-19 9:01
A truly impressive well composed capture, till now from far the best of your Georgia´s trip
What helps is the well taken white cloud, it alone atracks the view
The composition is stunning because of the contrast of the front with the sun light back
Congrats for so good capture
rychem (39345) 2014-02-19 10:15
I can say only one word: breathtaking
abmdsudi (56288) 2014-02-19 10:23
What a view point and a jaw dropping scene! The dark brown medieval church creates such a stark contrast in colours in a wide green mountainous landscape
and successively extending the sense of depth and vastness of space beyond. Amazingly secluded, great that the tiny car gives us some indication of height, the lighting is great with so much to look at with lovely shadow play. The cotton cloud finishes off so handsome. Dramatic mountainscape, a telling narrative and an astounding shot to be proud off!! Congrats
yquem46 (38752) 2014-02-19 10:28
une vue impressionnante de cette église dans un cadre absolument grandiose
bravo pour cette image hors normes et TFS
krzychu30 (15512) 2014-02-19 13:26
actually I have only one word to describe this-Breathtaking!In every aspect!
Georgia is a real jewel among European countries and still not so well known by tourists.
The church is undoubtedly beautiful,but even more spectacular is its location.Magnificent capture!I hope you have many more from there.
photoray (13981) 2014-02-19 16:49
Attractive Georgia scene with the beautiful gothic architecture church dominating the hilltop then the Caucasus Mountains forming a comprehensive geological background.
PS: Northern Arizona's waterfalls are usually short lived because they exist when a brief rain storm arrives, and there is little surrounding snow capped high mountains like Yosemite Valley.
Subhogen (4067) 2014-02-19 19:45
What an amazing backdrop for this beautifully located church. Good choice of vertical format to show the extent of that steep slope. Very dramatic. The church seems to be on the end of a precipice which we cannot see, but we know it is surely there. Truly spectacular place, equally good photo. Thanks for sharing.
elenimavrandoni (0) 2014-02-19 20:23
Paul, what a majestic and spectacular image!!! such a great natural discovery, I have to hand it to you for this beautiful composition, for the marvelous vertical presentation and for the fantastic colors!!
ACL1978 (7511) 2014-02-19 21:27
Hello Paul - certainly a very special and spectacular location here, and I can see why this one has the fame it does. A really nice shot of it, as we follow the line sof the mountains right down to the church itself, with a cloud hanging above - beautiful!
jhm (156446) 2014-02-20 3:34
Geen gemakkelijke foto om te nemen maar u bent er grandioos in geslaagd om alles zo perfect op een foto te plaatsen.
U creëert diepte en perspectief.
Ook de kerk en omgeving zijn zeer mooi weergegeven.
Een foto dat spreekt, dit is eveneens de kust van fotografie.
Veel mooi gedaan Paul.
Een prettige dag verder,
claudeD (40271) 2014-02-20 4:21
I have never heard about this church. Very good informative picture and excellent picture. Perfect sharpness and clarity.Very well done.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
Oceania (5202) 2014-02-20 8:10
The mountain is so tall and mighty. The church is so lonely from this angle. But this is the only civilization in this remote area, I guess. It's truly spectacular.
Cricri (122455) 2014-02-20 9:12
Une image fantastique, par son POV, ces couleurs, la position de l'église, et ce paysage d'une beauté incroyable, vraiment une très belle réalisation
chrislo (4097) 2014-02-20 12:55
Deze is echt een topper ! Erg mooi zicht met die oude kerk in het midden van het frame in een adembenemend bergdecor. Je hebt je perfect geplaatst om de kleine bergstroom tussen de twee torens te laten vloeien. Het spel van licht en schaduw geeft een bijzonder mooi effect en zorgt voor een versterkte dieptewerking. Prachtige kleurennuances, en uitstekende keuze van formaat en kader. Heel mooi vastgelegd. Een foto die veel groene smileys verdient !
papagolf21 (105198) 2014-02-21 0:23
Magnifique prise de vue donnant un effet exceptionnel sur le spectateur.
Une grande prise de vue.
adramad (47624) 2014-02-21 8:24
Wow ...... that fabulous ... more grandiose composition situation, that of this original and beautiful church at the top of that mountain, the steep slopes of the mountain that has the background, with such a rugged orography, but with the nice touch of green grass, it is a wonderful background.
Great colorful natural.
A bright image with optimum clarity.
Good job. I love it.
Enjoy a good weekend.
Fis2 (102234) 2014-02-21 9:18
Excellent composition and colors.
Have a nice evening
ourania (48684) 2014-02-21 11:23
an extraordinary view to the church and its superb surroundings. This is an iconic place I first saw and learnt to recognize on TE and your picture has one of the most impressive views I've seen. The depth, the alternation of light and shade, the textures and colours of the mountain are absolutely fascinating. The vertiginous point of view is exquisitely balanced by the visiting lonely cloud. The jeep and the people add to the stunning sense of scale. An amazing picture, congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great weekend,
Royaldevon (40988) 2014-02-21 15:46
You are right about the spectacular locations for their churches and you have been able to impress this upon us by your composition of this shot. The church, strongly placed, appears to be overlooking a steep gorge, so high that even the clouds of the sky are below its rim. It is truly amazing!
The inclusion of the figures clarifies the immense scale!
Have a great w/e,
jcpix (13930) 2014-02-21 20:58
Boy oh boy, does this ever have that "wow" factor, what a spectacular view! Amazing perspective from this vantage point, and does it ever do wonders for the sense of scale. I'm quite jealous of your experience, I would love to see this with my own eyes, it really is a breathtaking and picturesque scene. And that one cloud sitting perfectly near the top of the frame must have made a special appearance just for this shot. :) A subject worthy of photographing, and one which has been done with an excellent result! Enjoy the weekend ahead. Take care.
SWEETFREEDOM (24621) 2014-02-22 0:04
a Church in a unique landscape. i like the vertical format and colors.
siudzi (34141) 2014-02-22 4:11
Wow! What a stunning presentation of this truly beautiful place! The mountains captured in the background worked so perfectly with this old architecture to create a charming scene. Very well observed and cropped. Like it!
Have a nice weekend!
COSTANTINO (67274) 2014-02-22 12:13
la vue est vraiment magnifique avec beaucoup
ce paysage a une beaute incroyable merci pour partager cette photo avec nous
Periko (5902) 2014-02-22 16:15
Really an amazing landscape. Sharp image, well framed church and nice zoom effect.
kato (11630) 2014-02-22 23:46
You're capturing well this church by a good composition and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see Trinity Church standing on highland. It's also powerful for the steep gorge of backdrop. And, it's tasteful for mountain path leading to the church.
Graal (103036) 2014-02-23 3:11
view is beautiful here. Good shot. Great place and POV on shot. Friends all told you. I like a lot this picture also.
Have a nice day.
delpeoples (59184) 2014-02-25 5:17
Salut cher Paul
A marvellous composition, perfectly judged by using the vertical frame, and adding such impressive depth. The green tones are magnificent and I love the textures you've captured in those amazing hills. Stunning work, congratulations.
Warmest wishes, thanks for sharing
fritzi007 (11479) 2014-02-26 10:49
really a wild, beautiful landscape, the rock formation looks wild, your photo is perfect!
fabbs99 (17175) 2014-02-26 20:10
Fabulous shot from the Caucasian Church on the hilltop.Lovely colors and excellent sharpness in this image.Very well done. TFS.
jjcordier (79297) 2014-02-27 23:52
Superbe photo de ce magnifique et spectaculaire paysage caucasien.
mirosu (16273) 2014-02-28 6:46
You're capturing very well this landscape scene by a good composition and bright tone, so it's interesting and impressive to see nice church with elegant shape. The whole is harmonized well by beautiful color & light balance. And, the contrasting green slopes draws out an additional good atmosphere, too.
Very well done
Wish you a very nice weekend.
HOLIDAYS in MOUNTAINS
RhodieIke (11744) 2014-02-28 21:00
This is awesome,
You have a fantastic Pov, of this super landscape and the Kazbegi church.
The inclusion of the car works so well as it scale this to perfection.
Wonderful, very well managed, Tfs.
Robert1969 (7160) 2014-03-11 0:49
Doordat er geen lucht is te zien, moet de kijker
min of meer raden hoe hoog de bergwand op de
achtergrond is en dat maakt de foto extra spannend.
De lagenopbouw, het weggetje en de watervalletjes
op de achtergrond creëren een extra diepte. De
verticale positie versterkt zowel de diepte als de
hoogte. Dit alles is verzorgd verdeeld en belicht.
adores (46079) 2014-03-17 16:25
Amazing view! The church is so well placed and your pov is fantastic. The light and that little cloud add a lot. A very good shot indeed!
aliabazari (16234) 2014-04-16 22:57
Hi Paul Dear Friend
Depth is very attractive and stunning. Exhibited a very beautiful view. Very well.
Angshu (56760) 2014-05-29 21:48
Dag dear Paul
What an impressive landscape...this church has a magnificent backdrop and I have seen pictures of it in full zoom against the backdrop of the green slope. Amazing place really! Thanks for inclusion of the jeep..really provides us a good idea of how big the church is, which actually is dwarfed in front of the mountains
jmdias (66301) 2014-06-08 12:46
a really impressive place for a church, in some aspects something like the incas did with machu pichu. amazing contrast of these huge slopes with no end ahead. fantastic place and excellent image to show it for us. TFS this not so known place.
PiotrF (20608) 2014-07-11 6:14
Beautiful view of the church in mountain scenery.
Excellent landscape, very effective composition. Pleasant scene.
For me superb.
- Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) (30659)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-08-04
- Categories: Nature, Architecture
- Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
- Exposure: f/8, 1/160 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-02-17 14:18
- Favorites: 3 [view]