The Katskhi pillar

Near the village of Katskhi, about 5 km northwest of Tschiatura in Georgia, a free-standing limestone rock needle almost 40 metres high overlooks the river Kazchura.

Since the 10th century there has been a small Georgian Orthodox monastery on the summit plateau of the cliff, which measures about 10 × 15 metres. 
It consists of a small chapel under which a crypt is located and a residential building with three hermit cells and a wine cellar.
During the conquest of Imeretia by the Turks in the 16th century, the monastery was abandoned and became a ruin.

Only since 1995 has an ascetic hermit monk lived on the summit plateau again, following the example of the medieval inhabitants.
From 1999 to 2005 the monastery was researched by archaeologists and restored and rebuilt in 2009 with state support.
Twice a week, the hermit monk descends from the ladder that the archaeologists have installed to hold a service in the newly built chapel at the foot of the rock.

Since one can hardly take nice pictures of the monastery from the foot of the rock, the next day I decide to follow a small, bumpy field path from the village Kazchi that leads along the higher plateau that lies behind the monastery. At about the same height as the monastery, I park my motorcycle and walk through the forest, hoping to find a place with a good view of the rock and the monastery. Fortunately, I find it and can take some nice pictures.


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