The United States is providing more than half a million dollars to preserve a 1,500-year-old monastery in Mtskheta, Georgia.

“Churches in Georgia play such an important role in history and culture and the society,” said U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan on September 16. “The United States is very proud to be able to help Georgia preserve these iconic symbols of Georgia’s history.”

Through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), the United States is providing more than $500,000 for the preservation of the major church at Jvari Monastery. This is in addition to an initial funding of $100,000 made through the AFCP in 2019 to complete the first phase of the project.

Located 20 kilometers from Tbilisi, Jvari Monastery is situated on the side of a mountain and overlooks the historic town of Mtskheta, which is also home to the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox and Apostolic Church.

Designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO, the monastery’s location has been a site of religious significance for thousands of years. Local history says a pagan sanctuary existed on the same spot where the monastery now stands. In the fourth century, a wooden cross was erected over the pagan structure, signifying the rise of Christianity in Georgia.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE U.S EMBASSY IN GEORGIA WEBSITE