Martvili Monastery

Located atop the highest hill in the village of Martvili, the Martvili Monastery complex, once a pagan cultural center, is now a beacon of Christian faith in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Province of Georgia.

The ancient oak tree, once worshipped as a fertility idol, was replaced by a church in the late 7th century, named in honor of Saint Andrew, who was instrumental in spreading Christianity across Samegrelo. Following invasions, the Martvili-Chkondidi Cathedral, named after the Mingrelian word for "oak," was rebuilt in the 10th century, housing a rich tapestry of frescoes from the 14th to 17th centuries.

Situated near Martvili city center, the monastery overlooks the valleys of the Tskhenistskali and Abasha rivers, offering sweeping views of Imereti and Samegrelo. The fortified complex, with its storeroom, bell tower, chapel, and the main temple dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, is a testament to the region's spiritual heritage.

During the Middle Ages, the monastery served as a critical cultural and educational center. Its central cross-domed temple, adorned with Old Testament scenes, coexists with a two-story church from the 10th century. The last pillarist monk dwelled in the west of the main temple, in a room atop a high pillar.

Following a period of inactivity during the Soviet era, the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II revived the complex in 1998. Today, it houses the St. Andrew the First-Called Father's Monastery and the St. Nino Nunnery, with a chapel-museum preserving relics of various epochs in the former royal room.

Martvili Monastery, with its deep-rooted history and spiritual significance, stands as a unique symbol of Georgia's religious and cultural evolution.

Nearest to Martvili Monastery

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