The Gergeti Holy Trinity Church ( Tsminda Sameba ) is one of the churches of the Georgian Orthodox Church of the Mtstad-Mtianeti (Jevi) region, in the municipality of Qazbegi, Georgia. The church is located on the right bank of the Chjeri river, tributary on the left of the Terek, at an elevation of 2.170 m, under Mount Kazbek. Next to the church passes the Georgian military road between Vladikavkaz in Russia and Tbilisi. The Russian border is 18 km to the north.
The name of the church, Gergeti , corresponds to that of an old disappeared nearby population, located on the right bank of the Tergui river, and the namesake glacier of Mount Kazbek. Its isolated location at the top of a steep mountain surrounded by the immensity of nature has made it a symbol for Georgia.
The ecclesiastical complex includes a cross church with dome and bell tower from the 14th century, as well as a Council House , added in the 15th century on the south wall of the main church. The church has a rectangular floor plan. Its dome rests on two empty columns located to the west and the walls of the eastern apses. The church is built of well-worked stone. Each stone has square faces. The facade and the dome of the church are adorned with Georgian ornaments. The ornaments are also found in the walls of the bell tower. The Church of the Holy Trinity of Gergeti was one of the main churches of the historical region of Jevi.
Access : Coordinates: 42.6625, 44.620278 / By car : Stepanzminda (nearest town ) is located on the highway 3, the Georgian section of the Georgian Army Road, about 160 km north of Tbilisi ( journey time about 3 hours). This branches off north of Mzcheta from the . 10 kilometers north of Stepanzminda is the border crossing Dariali / Verkhnyj Lars with the Russian Federation. It was closed after the August 2008 war and since 2011 is open to all travelers. Pay attention to visa requirements for Russia!
Note :When traveling from Tbilisi, it should be noted that the road leads over the 2700 m high Kreuzpass. This is i.d.R. Open all year round, but can sometimes be impassable for days to weeks when the snow covers (October to April). / By plane
Nearest scheduled airports: Vladikavkaz and Tbilisi
By bus to Stepanzminda (nearest town ) :
From Tbilisi-Didube, there are regular mini-buses (Marschrutkas) to Stepanzminda (3:30 h, 10 GEL). Also all long-distance buses to Russia pass the city.
Hike to Holy Trinity Church – 1 hr 30 hrs climb or take a jeep taxi to the main square, On the main square are always drivers with their Lada Nivas ( Legendary russian 4×4 car ) ready to offer their services. A ride to the Sameba Cathedral of Gergeti costs about 50 Lari,
tips : Decent clothes required , no photography inside the monastery , Free entrance. No smoking.
Go next : Tbilisi , the capital city of the country of Georgia / Mtskheta / Rustavi / Kakheti region in eastern Georgia /