|view from our hotel of the Caucasian mountain range|
|hats for sale at Ananuri!|
|fine exterior of the Assumption of the|
Mother of God Church, Ananuri
|Old Georgian script? What does it say?|
|Our guide Maka has the Dean's attention!|
|Bell tower overlooking the reservoir|
The lower of the two churches is really the jewel. It was built in 1689 and is dedicated to the Assumption of the Mother of God. Our attention is immediately drawn to the fantastic external carved decorations, particularly those on the south wall. Inside, and also on the south wall are frescoes of the Last Judgment and of various saints, including thirteen Syrian Fathers, other fine frescoes having been destroyed by fire in the 18th century during the church's turbulent history. By the bell turret I see some steps going down to what I learn was a hiding place for soldiers to lurk and take intruders by surprise in the turbulent past.
|the hiding place for soldiers|
|sad graffiti over frescoes|
The tranquil setting belies the history of this site, involved as it was in many past wars. It is hugely photogenic here and we become tourists as we are anxious to take the ultimate beautiful shot!
We meet an English couple in the car park here. They have a motor home and have spent a couple of months exploring Turkey before coming into Georgia and will eventually drive back to London to see their son. I mention the shame of the litter. He shrugs; it's a fact of life, he says. Why do we all have to be so defeatist? Let's stem the flow of litter and not accept the trashing of God's beautiful planet, in Georgia or anywhere else!
|view over the reservoir|