Udabno Lavra

Useful Information

Location: David Gareja, 80km southeast of Tiblisi.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:  
Address: Udabno Lavra, Tel: +995-, Fax: +995-,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



The monastery named Udabno Lavra is located at the top of Udabno hill. It is reached on a 45 minute hike from David Gareja monastery. While David Gareja is located at the foot of the hill, this monastery is located right at the ridge. The ridge is also the border to Azerbaijan, so there was some dispute, if the monastery which is actually on the Azerbaijan side of the ridge is still Georgian. Be carefull when you walk to the monastery, there are many snakes in this area, especially from April to June.

The monastery is a complex of caves which are cut into the cliff face on various levels. Many caves were cells for the monks, but the most impressive caves are the churches and chapels with their murals and frescoes. They were created by the renowned fresco school which flourished here between the 10th and 13th century. The monastery's refectory is decorated by an 11th century depiction of the Last Supper. The monks had to kneel to eat at low stone tables.

On the north wall of what was the main church, a painting shows Davit Gareja and Lukiane surrounded by deer. This is a reference to the story that deer gave them milk when they were wandering without supplies in this remote wilderness. The pictures below show Kakhetian princes. There is a cave with a spring inside which is called Davit's Tears.