John's Travel Blog

Insights on traveling in Georgia, Armenia, and Turkey

 

Easter chants at Kintsvisi Monastery

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After singing the Paschal all-night vigil at Bana Monastery, and trapeza in the morning, I started back towards Tbilisi with four monks as passengers (going to visit their families). Along … Read More

Easter All-Night Vigil, Bana Monastery

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Easter is here! I had the fortune to celebrate the feast with the small brotherhood of monks at the Bana Monastery. The monastery is located in the forests of Lower … Read More

Kriste aghdga (Christ is Risen) – Georgian Easter chants

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Kriste aghdga (Christ is Risen) is an important Easter hymn in the Georgian Orthodox tradition. It is sung when the priest knocks on the doors of the church, symbolizing entrance … Read More

Shen khar venakhi (You are the Vineyard) – the West Georgian variants (3/3)

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Post 1: Shen khar venakhi – a Beloved Chant (1/3)   Post 2: Shen khar venakhi – the East Georgian variants (2/3)   Post 3: Shen khar venakhi – the … Read More

Shen khar venakhi (You are the Vineyard) – The East Georgian variants (2/2)

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Post 1: Shen khar venakhi – a Beloved Chant (1/3)   Post 2: Shen khar venakhi – the East Georgian variants (2/3)   Post 3: Shen khar venakhi – the … Read More

Annunciation in Georgia (April 7th)

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For the feast of the Annunciation, we sang the troparion “Today is the Crown,” the heirmos “Worthily Gabriel Announced” and many other chants. I was only able to capture our … Read More

Shen khar venakhi (You are the Vineyard) – Georgia’s beloved chant (1/3)

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Post 1: Shen khar venakhi – a Beloved Chant (1/3)   Post 2: Shen khar venakhi – the East Georgian variants (2/3)   Post 3: Shen khar venakhi – the … Read More

Singing for the Saints at Betania Monastery

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Sometimes in Georgia, it’s hard to get any work done. The culture demands a more nuanced, flexible approach to life than just adhering to 8-hour work days. Here’s one example … Read More

Chant in Anchiskhati basilica, Tbilisi

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Yesterday, I had the fortune to sing liturgical chants with the Anchishati Choir, in the Anchiskhati Church in Tbilisi.     I had gone to the church to attend a … Read More

Kashweti Church – Great Lent begins

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              Today is Forgiveness Sunday at the Kashweti Church of St. George, a major church in downtown Tbilisi that welcomes some 300-500 parishioners through its hammered metal doors every … Read More

The stone-carvings at Nikortsminda cathedral

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The monastery church of Nikortsminda is one of the most unique churches in the Caucasus region. For starters, it is built high in the Rachan highland region, making it difficult … Read More

Gergeti Sameba Monastery

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The monastery of Gergeti Sameba in the Kazbegi highlands is one of the most iconic places one can visit in the whole South Caucasus. It is one of the most … Read More

Martvili Canyon

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The Martvili Canyon is a natural wonder in the Samegrelo region of Georgia, near the town of Martvili. Also called the Gachedili Canyon, it is about a 45 minute drive … Read More

Black Sea Coast (from the Botanical Garden)

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The Black Sea coastline from the heights of the Batumi Botanical Gardens stretches more miles to the north towards the port of Poti, and south towards the port of Batumi. … Read More