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Sweet-Georgia.org / What to see in Georgia / tourist sights / Natural Attractions

Betlemi Cave

Cave of Bethlehem - a wonderful place, has long been considered a fiction. This large cave inhabited in past times, is very high in Mount Kazbek is already above the glacier. About its existence there were vague rumors among moheve men. In the XIX century specialist of the Caucasus  Veidenbaum in his visit to the Caucasus wrote: "among the local population goes to a lot of stories about different sacred objects that are stored somewhere on the top of Kazbegi in an inaccessible cave or monastery "Betlem "... penetrate into the sanctuary is possible only by means of a chain, It attaches to the rock, but it must be pure, holy man. "
 
IG Chavchavadze cave mentioned in the poem "The Hermit".
 
In January 1948, it was agreed - at the level of the Government of the Georgian SSR - to conduct an official investigation. Speleological Commission of Georgian Alpinist  club formed a group under the guidance of the master of sports of the USSR Alexandra Japaridze. The group was listed as S. Tsereteli, who found a little earlier in the Kazbek pendant chain. The group joined L.Suzhiashvili mountaineer and director of the Museum of Kazbegi I. Alibegashvili. January 6 began climbing Kazbek.
 
Group managed to find a cliff on which hung the chain. With his rope climbers climbed to the top of the chain, where they found the door covered with metal. It was small (approximately a meter in height and in width 50 sm.). Open it was not possible, so researchers got inside through a window opening. There was made a description of the cave.
 
The cave is located on a steep slope of a rocky ridge, descending from the top of Kazbegi in the south-west direction between Abano and Gergeti glacier at an altitude of 4000 - 4100 meters above sea level. The door of the cave carved into the rock height of 400 meters, while the cave itself is located at an altitude of 300 meters from the base of the cliff. Daylight penetrates the cave through an opening window above the door, which faces south. The door from the outside is completely upholstered with iron inside - partially. By  interior door rack fastened meter iron chain, which  allegedly locked the door from the inside. 
 
In the north-eastern part is the throne, once covered with cloth, which expanded in the order items: a bronze candlestick on three legs, wooden bowls and shallow wooden boxes, one of which found 10 of old silver coins and a piece of marble. Near of the altar is an icon, banner, upholstered silver plate with stamped reliefs and inscriptions font Asomtavruli. In the eastern wall is a wooden candlestick, and is the horn of a five-year deer. Here are the seats carved from andesite.
 
There is speculation that the cave was intended for storage of jewelry during foreign invasions.
If you believe the myth, which is described in these writings, it was in this monastery is hidden treasury of Queen Tamara. We do this 100 hevsurs. To the secret has not been disclosed, they killed each other.
 
Bethlehem cave - not one only on Kazbegi. There are four other, smaller dimensions, located at different heights. Some shepherds herd hide.
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