Gorijvari is a spa resort in the village Gorijvari, Gori municipality at the altitude of 600m. In the 80s people from different parts of Georgia often came here to rest. Unfortunately the resort doesn’t work today.
On the top of the hill stands St. George’s church of Gorijvari, which was and is a popular place of pilgrimage. Vakhushti Batonishvili in his records writes that Gorijvari was built in the IV century and St. George’s skull was buried in the foundation. The church was named after St. George’s. The builder of the church is not known. Some people say, that St. George church was built on the place, where the ancient pagan idol was erected, others say that in the beginning of the IV century a cross was erected at the top of the hill and since then the place is called Gorijvari. (Jvari means “cross”).
It is said that in that period three crosses were erected in Georgia-in Mtskheta, on the mount Tkhota and in Ujarma. From the pieces of these three crosses Gorijvari Cross was made in the first half of IV century. The wooden cross was embellished with silver by King Alexandre I. Today the original cross is kept in the state museum of fine art but the copy of it is in the church.
The length of the cross in the church is 188cm and the width is 94cm. Central part of the cross shows the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Other parts of the cross show a life of St. George.
“Bless the grace of Gorijvari”-this is the first or the last toast to pray in Gori. Gorijvroba is celebrated on May 6 and on November 23 on Giorgoba days.
The current church was built in the XII century, it was burnt down by Turk, rebuilt and the earthquake in 1920 destroyed the church again. The church was restored in the 80s when Vazha Abramishvili was a District Committee Secretary of Gori. As he writes later, it was very risky to build a church in the soviet period. Restoration works took nearly 10 years.
Sunday liturgy started in 1990.
So when you are in Gori, you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit the place. You can take a taxi for 10 gel from the bus-station (to and fro) and enjoy with spectacular views of Gori and the river Mtkvari.