Life Georgian monk at a height of 40 meters
• Living Georgian monk at a height of 40 m
The fact that some people choose to live as a hermit, today few people are surprised. However, the story of Maxim Kavtaradze and his current home is not like the others - his asceticism for all to see. His house is easy to see, but it is difficult to approach him. Maxim lives on top of 40-meter-high limestone monolith that rises in the middle of the gorge.
The limestone rocks called Katskhi pillar - on behalf of the small Georgian village located nearby. The nearest town - Chiatura. But a few kilometers around are forests and mountains - insanely beautiful scenery, looking at which is easy to believe that people and the city is too far away to worry about them.
The staircase to the top of the pillar.
Now the top of the pillar is shaky ladder. The rise from the ground up to the top takes about 20 minutes - and even then, it is capable of only one person who is not afraid of heights. Before the advent of the ladder, people thought that the climb to the top is physically impossible. Imagine their surprise when, in 1944, the first to reach the summit, climbers, researchers found there traces of the old church, a wine cellar, ramparts and a small crypt with the remains of a man. It turns out that once upon a time there someone lived in this totally unsuitable place to live.
Today, the locals call the pillar of "fortress of solitude". In 1993, there lived a monk Maxim. At first he lived in a cave under a stone pillar, and then he began to give donations for the revival of the church. In 1999 began the archaeological studies of the remains of buildings on top of a pole, and once the study ended, then began the construction of the church - right on the site of the old temple. This church repeats the simple design of the first temple was destroyed - 3, 5 4, 5 meters hall, lined with stone. The new church was named in honor of Maximus the Confessor.
The remains of the monk, who lived on the top Katskhi pillar a few centuries ago.
Now the monk Maxim Kavtaradze 65 years, and the last 26 years he has lived on the top Katskhi pillar. Twice a week, Max comes down to pray with the locals and pick themselves provisions. Access to the top of the pillar is normally closed - up may only individual priests but young men who pray twice a week with the monk Maximus at the foot of the cliff. To photographer Amoch Chapple was able to climb to the top of Katskhi pillar, he had four days to spend in prayer, two of which he ought to fast. Only after that the photographer was allowed to climb the rickety staircase, which is hanging from the time of that first ekspiditsii in 1944.
Apparently, Katskhi pillar was considered a sacred place for several centuries before the conquest of Georgia Ottoman Empire. So we can say that the monk Maxim revived the ancient tradition.
Previously, Maxim worked as a crane operator, so that by the height he was no stranger. "Up here, in the silence, better chuvstsvuetsya presence of God" - the monk said. He decided to live on top of the pillar after his release from prison. "I was young, I was drinking, selling drugs. Then he went to prison, and realized that I need to change my life. I was drinking with my friends here in the neighborhood, and often looked at the rock. Here, if there are the earth and the sky. I knew that lived here before the monks and I felt respect "for him.
Provisions upward lifted by wire ropes.
During these 26 years, while Maxim lives on top of the pillar, a lot has changed. Then, in 1993 on the cliff it was absolutely nothing - the monk had to wrap up a small stone shed. Now there is a church nearby - a small house, where he lives Maxim. At the foot of the cliff formed a small settlement, where the followers of the monk lived. Here come the men who encountered difficulties in his life - as once encountered them himself Maxim.
The monk Maxim.