Poka St. Nino Monastery

Perched on the tranquil shores of Paravani Lake in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, the Poka St. Nino Monastery stands as a testament to Georgia's rich Christian heritage. Legend has it that Saint Nino, the woman credited with introducing Christianity to Georgia, rested here for two nights during her arduous journey from Cappadocia to Mtskheta.

It was in this serene locale that Saint Nino experienced a profound vision. She encountered a radiant man who commanded her to deliver a document bearing the Savior's seal to the King in Mtskheta. After offering prayers to the Holy Virgin, Saint Nino continued her journey, her path forever etched in Georgian spiritual history.

The Poka St. Nino Monastery, a small but artistically significant 11th-century monument of Georgian architecture, stands as a testament to this divine encounter. Its importance is not only tied to its historical significance, but also to its exceptional artistic value, which sets it apart in the Javakheti area.

The monastery, re-established in 1989, with a nunnery added in 1992, continues to echo with the harmony of worship and daily life. The resident nuns not only maintain the spiritual essence of the place, but they also craft exquisite cheese, chocolate, and other treats that visitors can savor and take home as delectable reminders of their visit.

The monastery, adorned with ornamented doors and windows, is an architectural gem. Despite the ravages of time, it retains fragments of ancient artwork in its interior. Its technical skill and artistic value rank it amongst the most outstanding monuments in Javakheti.

Today, the restored church stands proudly, its eastern facade overlooking the spot where Saint Nino first set foot in Georgia. Here, a modest stone obelisk memorializes her initial contact with the land she would forever change.

The Poka St. Nino Nunnery is not just a place of worship; it is also a hub of community activities. The nuns operate a parish school, teach local children various subjects, and offer free medical treatments to the locals. Their enamel workshop, "Pokani," produces beautiful liturgical items and icons, infusing the spiritual into the daily life of the monastery.

The monastery celebrates its holiday on June 1/19, marking the day Saint Nino entered Georgia. Visiting Poka St. Nino Monastery is a journey into the heart of Georgia's Christian heritage, a step back in time, and an opportunity to witness the living faith of its people.

Nearest to Poka St. Nino Monastery

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