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Betania monastery

The Betania Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God (Georgian: ბეთანიის ყოვლადწმინდა ღვთისმშობლის შობის მონასტერი) commonly known as Betania or Bethania (ბეთანია, [bɛˈtʰanɪa]) is a medieval Georgian Orthodox monastery in eastern Georgia, 16 km (10 miles) southwest of Tbilisi, the nation’s capital. It is a remarkable piece of architecture of the "Golden Age" of the Kingdom of Georgia, at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries, and is notable for its wall paintings which include a group portrait of the contemporary Georgian monarchs


Betania is located in the isolated wooded valley of the Vere river in Kvemo Kartli, 16 km (10 miles) southwest of Tbilisi. The name of the monastery is derived from that of the village Bethany in Palestine[1] recorded in the New Testament as the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, as well as that of Simon the Leper.

The history of the monastery is poorly recorded in Georgian historical tradition. It was a familial abbey of the House of Orbeli. The donor image of Sumbat and Liparit Orbeli before the Mother of God appears on the south transept of the monastery. 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, appear to have been the monastery’s owners in early modern Georgia.


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