The Betania Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God, often just Betania Monastery, is a medieval Orthodox Georgian in Eastern Georgia, just 16km from Tbilisi.

It is from the Golden Age of Georgia (11th to 13th centuries), and is notable for wall paintings inside depicting three notable Georgian monarchs. These are the three Georgian rulers of the Golden Age: George IV, aka Lasha, (son of Queen Tamar), George III (father of Tamar) and Queen Tamar herself.

Tbilisi monasteries and churches, Betania

Meaning and History:

Like many churches at the time, it is named after a place in the Holy Land. This one is derived from the village of Bethany in Palestine, the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus.

There is some speculation as to when exactly the church was built.

It was supposedly constructed in the early 13th century. This is based on the fact that the murals inside date to back to 1207, according to historians, and on the reports of the Russian Prince Grigory Gagarin. According to his reports, he discovered and cleaned the image of Tamar in 1851, though there is nothing about the actual date as to when the church was originally constructed.

Like many other churches in Georgia, Betania Monastery endured numerous invasions and at one point in history, was completely abandoned and half-destroyed.

Most of it was later restored in the second half of the 19th century by monks who were later executed during the Soviet purges. As a result, from 1963 till 1978, it was officially not functioning.

Finally, it was restored again in 1978 by the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II and then refurbished in the 1990s, when it grew again in size and influence.

What to see:

The monastery is located near a small forest next to the Vere River, with a great view of the surrounding nature and stream.

You can tell that it was surrounded by a wall, based on the scattered stone rocks around the church. The church has an interesting cross-in-square design with a dome on top of it.

Aside from that the mural, the walls also depict frescoes and icons of prophets, scenes from the Old Testament and from the life of Christ.

General information:

The road is a quite long and winding and can be bumpy at times near the end.

So getting there and exploring the full view might take some time. It is advisable to save more than half a day for your visit.

  • Recommended Tours to Georgia

    One day tour: Ananuri and Kazbegi

    One day tour to Ananuri and Kazbegi – exciting travel plan to spend a day in Georgia. Your Tbilisi guide and driver will meet you at 9 am at the

  • Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta

    One day tour: Tbilisi and Mtskheta

    One day tour in Tbilisi and Mtskheta is a perfect journey plan to start with two capitals of Georgia: old and new. Your Tbilisi guide and driver will meet you

  • One day tour to David Gareja monastery complex

    One day tour: David Gareja monastery complex

    One day tour to David Gareja monastery complex is an exciting travel plan to spend day in Georgia. Your Tbilisi guide and driver will meet you at 9 am at

  • tourists on horses in Georgia

    One day horse riding tour Georgia

    Horseriding is very popular in Georgia and there are plenty of opportunities to ride a horse in different areas of the country. Explore amazingly picturesque and otherworldly East Kakheti landscapes on a horseriding day tour.

  • One day winter tour to Gudauri

    One day winter tour: Gudauri

    One day winter tour to Gudauri is an ideal opportunity to spend a wintry day in Georgia. Your Tbilisi guide and driver will meet you at 8 am at the

  • Bazaleti lakeview restaurant and tavern in Georgia one day culinary tour

    One day Bazaleti lake-view village tour

    Visit real Georgian village on the shores of Bazaleti lake, just 1-hour drive from Tbilisi. Village Mlashe is a home to a brand-new sustainable tourism project – local family-run Salty Garden.

  • Tours to Kakheti

    One day wine tour to Kakheti

    One day wine tour to Kakheti – is an ideal opportunity to discover wine in Georgia. As part of our wine tour options, this has been the most popular so

  • Tourists on farm tour in Georgia

    One day farm tour in Georgia

    One day farm tour to the village of Atskuri in Georgia (near the town of Borjomi). Dive into the life of Georgian farm and see how locals make their living. With this amazing day tour we offer our guests to experience agricultural life firsthand. 

  • One day winter tour in Borjomi

    One day winter tour: Borjomi

    One day winter tour to Borjomi is a great opportunity to discover wintry beauty of one of the most picturesque places in Georgia. Your Tbilisi guide and driver will meet