Sunday - Gelati

After Motsameta we went to Gelati. Very close and a large monastery complex. set in wooded hills North of Kutaisi. The main church is the Cathedral of the Virgin, built by King David the Builder in 1106 - 1125. The inside of the Cathedral was very light, and was full of frescos. There was a wedding happening, and the bride and groom walked around three times where the priest stood, while others held books over their heads. The congregation came and went while the service was going on.
We then had a christening, lovely singing from three girls, who chatted amongst themselves when they were not singing. The baby was anointed with oil, foot dunked in water and then three crosses on chains dunked in water and put around baby's neck. The adults held long candles. The priest took a lock of the baby's hair, wrapped them with the candles in a towel and gave it to the parents. Now they all walked around the priest anti clockwise three times

The Cathedral if the Virgin
Sheep were being led around the Cathedral, anti clockwise three times. Some were being carried around a lot faster. There was a wedding in the Cathedral, so these must be destined for the wedding feats.
This gateway to the Monastery complex is where King David the Builder was buried. He is buried in the center. Picture of the large iron door. Made in 1063 in the Persian city of Ganja and brought back by David's son.
King David the Builders grave in the center of the gate, showing his humility.
The bride and groom at the wedding.
After the visit we bought some gifts in the shops outside the Cathedral. Twenty Stalin Cigarettes fro 50 Tetri. Rosemary bought a cross and bracelet for Selina