The Betania Monastery, commonly known as Betania or Bethania is a medieval Georgian Orthodox monastery situated in east of Georgia, 16 km southwest of Tbilisi. It is a significant piece of architecture of the "Golden Age" of Georgia and is distinguished for its wall art which includes a group portrait of the present day Georgian monarchs.
The monastery is situated in the isolated valley of the Vere river in Kvemo Kartli. The name of the monastery originates from the name of village Bethany in Palestine, which is recorded in the New Testament as the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
Not much of the history of the monastery is recorded in Georgian historical tradition. It was a familial abbey of the House of Orbeli. The Orbeli were temporarily dispossessed of their estates by the royal crown at the end of the 12th century, but their later offshoot, the Gostashabishvili family, happened to have been the monastery's owners in early modern Georgia.
A number of invasions in the history of Georgia depopulated and half-ruined the monastery. It was restored in the 19th century, due to the efforts of Hieromonk Spiridon Ketiladze who resigned as an abbot in 1922. Though unofficially, Betania was the only operating Georgian monastery till 1963 when it also became defunct for the next 15 years. In 1978, the energetic Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II obtained permission from the Soviet authorities to reopen the monastery. Some years later, the cloister was refurnished and the local monastic community grew in size and power.
Points of Interest
Mose Toidze House Museum Georgian National Museum Giorgi Leonidze Museum of Literature Museum of Fine Arts Museum of Georgian Folk Architecture Museum of Songs and Musical Instruments Museum of Soviet Occupation Simon Janashia Museum State Silk Museum
Anchiskhati Basilica Betania monastery Church of the Red Gospel David Gareja Monastery Gergeti Trinity Church Jvari Monastery Kashveti Church Lower Bethlehem Metekhi Temple Sameba Sioni Cathedral St Davit Ahgmashenebeli Church