Troglodyte Monastery of Tetri Udabno (David Gareja)
Monastery of Tetri Udabno (Georg. გარეჯის თეთრი უდაბნოს მონასტერი), is part of the monastic complexes of David Gareja. From the once large monastery, only a small part remains – two churches and several cells, carved into the upper part of the rock massif. Before the conservation of the monastery, in 1996, a large rock mass on the right side collapsed, which also covered the southwestern part of the northern extension of the church. The church itself was subjected to the same destruction, and after the collapse only the painted apse survived. Based on the iconography, scientists suggest that the murals in the apse of the main temple date back to the 7th-8th centuries.
The geological layer of rocks in which the monastery complex is carved – Tetri Udabno, consists of granular sandstone, which is very soft and crumbles even with a light touch. Crossing a deep vertical crack threatens the preservation of the main temple of the monastery. In 1998 conservation works of the paintings were carried out. The preliminary studies implemented led the experts to the conclusion that, due to the critical geologic situation, the only solution for preserving the paintings was to remove them and store them in a museum. In 1999 the paintings have been detached and transferred to Tbilisi.