Tavkvetula cave

Tavkvetula Church (Region of Samtskhe-Javakheti)

Tavkvetula church  (Georg. თავკვეთულას ქვაბულის ეკლესია) («Head beheading») – cave temple (VIII-IX centuries) and monastery of the Beheading of John the Baptist. The temple is carved into a sheer rock and cannot be seen from the outside. To get to the temple, one has to cross the river, climb a steep slope to the foot of the temple, climb through the only narrow passage, and climb a narrow vertical staircase. The place is very revered and hundreds of pilgrims and tourists constantly come here.

Every year, on September 11, the same miracle happens. The Kura River, which must be crossed to get to the temple, is very fast-flowing and deep, especially at this place. On the eve of the holiday, the river begins to subside and by morning it becomes so shallow that pilgrims going to the service freely cross the river on foot. After the Divine Liturgy, the riverbed is again filled with a fleeting stream and by evening it becomes as it always is – deep and fleeting.


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