Sunrise, Kazbegi (Mt. Mkinvari) & Tsminda Sameba Church at Sunrise, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Georgia
Mount Kazbek is a dormant volcano and one of the major mountains of the Caucasus range. Located on the border of Kazbegi District of Georgia, it is the third highest mountain in Georgia and the seventh highest peak in the Caucasus Mountains.
Mount Kazbek is associated in Georgian folklore with Amirani, the Georgian version of Prometheus, who was chained on the mountain in punishment for having stolen fire from the gods and having given it to mortals. The location of his imprisonment later became the site of an Orthodox hermitage located in a cave called “Betlemi” (Bethlehem) at around the 4000 meter level.
The 14th-century Holy Trinity Church above Kazbegi at 2200m has become something of a symbol of Georgia - its beauty, piety and the fierce determination to build it on such a lofty, isolated perch are all emblematic of the country and its people.
The beautifully weathered stone of the church and its separate belltower are decorated with some intriguing carvings, one on the belltower appearing to show two dinosaurs.