Katshki Pillar Towers Over Georgia

In the rural Western region of Georgia stands the world’s most isolated church
In the rural Western region of Georgia stands the world’s most isolated church

There are plenty of places of worship around the globe in remote locations, but this one goes the extra mile. In the rural western region of Georgia stands the world’s most isolated church. The Katshki Pillar, which locals refer to as “the pillar of life” stands 131ft (40m) tall and houses a 1,000-year-old church at the top.

Within the rock structure there is a crypt, three hermit cells and a wine cellar. At the base, there is a church, as well as the ruins of an old wall and belfry.

An aerial view of the remote church at the top of the pillar

The early medieval building dates back to the 9th or 10th century but was abandoned until 1944 when mountaineers went up for the first time in decades. The only way anyone could get up to the top – if they were feeling brave enough, was a rusty iron ladder which is now closed off to the public, so don’t plan on going up there if you want to visit the location.

Getting there

The secluded occupant

Believe it or not, there is a single monk who lives in complete seclusion at the top. Maxime Qavtaradze made the church his home in 1993. He told photographer Amos Chappele during an uncommon interview in 2013 that he made the decision to live on the pillar because he was seeking a much-needed change in his personal life; after being released from jail for drug-related offenses, he decided that isolating himself was the best way to reconnect with God.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article