David Gareja complex of cave monasteries is located not far from Rustavi. Temples, cells, warehouses – hundreds of rooms were cut in the caves. The first monastery – David`s Laura was founded by David in the sixth century. David Gareja monastery complex is active even in our days. It saved well despite that some of the frescoes were damaged when in soviet times military training exercises took place there. Earlier, one of the sanctuaries – a stone that David took from pilgrimage to Jerusalem was kept there. But the stone was transported to Sioni Cathedral (Tbilisi) where it is kept till these days. And it is sent to David Gareja only on some of the ceremonies.
Laura – is the most ancient monastery that is still working. It is closed for tourists so you will not be able to visit monastery and walk in its caves. Saint David`s Laura is considered one of the most beautiful of David Gareja parts of the complex. Here you will be able to see as towers, so living rooms. But you will not be able to visit it.
Tetri-Udabno monastery was built in the 11-12th centuries just in the very time of David Gareja monastery complex prosperity. There are cells and living rooms in the monastery but this is everything Tetri-Udabno has. The most precious thing the monastery had – its unique frescoes, was ruined by the people themselves – the icons do not have faces.
Not everywhere in Natlimtsemebeli active male monastery is allowed to go: before entering this or that cave you need to ask for permission. The cave was created from a row of caves, the very first one of them was cut by David`s learner Lukian. The thing that you must visit in Natlismtsemebeli is John the Baptist cave monastery to look at the frescoes and icons. One disadvantage – there is no public transport that can get you to Natlismtsemebeli, you can get there only on your own car or a rented one.