Gelati is a medieval monastic complex near Kutaisi, in the Imereti region of western Georgia. A masterpiece of the Georgian Golden Age, Gelati was founded in 1106 by King David IV of Georgia and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Historically, Gelati was one of the main cultural and intellectual centers in Georgia. It had an Academy which employed some of the most celebrated Georgian scientists, theologians and philosophers, many of whom had previously been active at various orthodox monasteries abroad, such as the Mangana Monastery in Constantinople. Among the religious authors were celebrated scholars as Ioane Petritsi and Arsen Ikaltoeli. Due to the extensive work carried out by the Gelati Academy, people of the time called it "a new Hellas" and "a second Athos".
The Gelati Monastery has preserved a great number of murals and manuscripts dating back to the 12th to 17th centuries. These are three churches: Church of the Nativity of the Virgin, Church of St. George, and Church of St. Nicholas, as well as a bell tower.
Gelati is the burial site of its founder and one of the greatest Georgian kings David IV. He is buried beneath the tombstone bearing an ancient Georgian Asomtavruli inscription: "This is my abode forever and ever, for I wish it. I have found eternal peace here". The iron gates of Ganja, brought by David's son, King Demetre I (1125-1156), in the memory of his victory, after the seizure of Ganja, are placed in the south porch. In the course of the centuries the south porch was rebuilt more than once, being finally closed and transformed into an annex.
The Gelati monastery complex by its historical and architectural diversity is the monument of Georgian and world culture.