Shavnabada Monastery

Perched on a mountain top about 30 kilometers (or around 18.6 miles for our imperial friends) away from Tbilisi, Georgia, sits a divine relic cloaked in medieval lore - the Shavnabada Monastery. This monastic complex pays tribute to St. George, a heroic figure stitched into the fabric of Georgian folklore, said to don a mystical black cloak during one of Georgia's triumphant battles. Hence, "shavnabada," a Georgian term literally translating to "black cloak."

Nestled in the Kvemo Kartli region, southeast Georgia, the monastery was founded in 1992 with the blessing of Ilia II, the Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, near the pre-existing St. George's Church. But the monastery isn't just a spiritual retreat; it also brews up a unique variety of wine named after the monastery itself – Shavnabada. Talk about divine wine!

Now, let's rewind to 1795. Tbilisi was left ravaged and plundered by the Persian army led by Aga-Mohammad-Khan. The Persians set up a camp by the Mtkvari river, and here's where the story takes a spooky turn. Every night, a phantom horseman swathed in black would wreak havoc in the camp, sparking terror in the Persian ranks. Try as they might, the Persians couldn't catch the elusive rider. Spooked, they packed up and fled but not before the Persian leader, Aga-Mohammad-Khan, vowed to return and decimate Georgia.

As promised, Aga-Mohammad-Khan did return a year later. But, mysteriously, he was found dead in his heavily guarded tent the night before his planned conquest. As for the phantom horseman? Georgians believe it was none other than St. George himself. This fabled tale is immortalized in the naming of the mountain and the church - Shavnabada.

Visitors to the Shavnabada Monastery in the village of Teleti are treated not just to this riveting legend but also to the beautiful structures of the complex. The 12th-century St. George's Church is the main attraction, with additional structures like another church and a bell tower added two centuries later. The monastery even houses an icon-painting school, with many of the church's icons created by local artists.

So, if you fancy a dash of medieval lore, a hint of spiritual reverence, a splash of artistic heritage, and a taste of divine wine, Shavnabada Monastery awaits!

Nearest to Shavnabada Monastery

Distances shown are straight-line, calculated automatically from coordinates, and may not reflect actual travel distance. They do not account for altitude, terrain, or obstacles. Not suitable for itinerary planning or emergencies. For entertainment use only.

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