© Istock/Alex1975K
© Istock/Alex1975K

The story behind Kashveti church & Father David

2 minutes to read

In the 6th century, 13 Assyrian fathers came to Georgia. Their contribution to spreading and strengthening Christianity is unmeasurable.

Father David, one of those Assyrian fathers, was living on a mountain slope near Tbilisi. He made here a simple room by himself and built a little belfry. Near this place, there is a small natural water source that appeared after his prayers to heal ill people.

© Istock/Street flash
© Istock/Street flash

The legend of Kashveti

At that time, Tbilisi was under the control of conquerors of a different religion, so that is why they did not like father David's prayers to Christ. As a result, they accused him of impregnating a woman. In response, father David made a miracle: with his prayers, the baby, while still in his mother's belly, cried out the real name of its father.

According to the legend, later, this woman gave birth to a stone. The church is located in the central part of Tbilisi today, and it is called “kashveti,” which literally means “birth of stone.” They say that this is precisely the place where the story mentioned above happened. This white church is different from all other churches because it is built only with white stones.

© Istock/efesenko
© Istock/efesenko

Father David was very upset because of the faith of this unhappy woman and prayed for her. Soon, in that place appeared a second natural water source. People call this source, "David's Tears." It has healing power. Many people come here and drink this water in faith that they will be cured.

© Istock/efesenko
© Istock/efesenko

Mtatsminda mountain – a saint mountain

On the place where father David lived, a church, called “Mamadaviti,” was built in the 19th century. The mountain itself is called “Mtatsminda,” which means a saint mountain.

In the 19th century, some famous people were already buried here. And in 1915, during the days of Akaki Tsereteli's funeral,  an idea was raised; to create a pantheon. Among other patriots, the famous Russian writer, Griboedov, got also buried here with his wife, Nino Chavchavadze. They had an unbelievable love story which I will tell you about later.

© Istock/Umi_ko
© Istock/Umi_ko

Mtatsminda and Mamadaviti Church are two of the most favorite places of Georgians. Imagine walking silently among the graves of famous people while thinking about their lives and the effort they made to make the world a better place. Only God knows how many things this mountain was a witness of; how many times invaders have destroyed this place, and how many times it was rebuilt again and again. Despite everything, Mtatsminda is still standing strong, watching over the whole Tbilisi with pride, and protecting the city.

Kashveti church in Tbilisi
Kashveti church in Tbilisi
9 Shota Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi 0108, Géorgie
Mtatsminda Pantheon
Mtatsminda Pantheon
Mama Daviti Rise, Tbilisi, Géorgie

Interesting towns related to this story


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The author

Anano Chikhradze

Anano Chikhradze

I am Anano. I Iove travelling, history and getting to know people from all over the world. I write about Georgia, my country, and I am sure everybody will fall in love with it.

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