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About Potoleti Church
The church and monastery of Potoleti is one of the oldest of many historical monuments of the Borjomi municipality. The reason to visit the church is not only the rich history but also it is interesting to see the beautiful surroundings near the monastery.
Potoleli Monastery is located in the Borjomi municipality, 5 km south of Akhaldaba and in the plain place of Potoleti forest. The road from Akhaldaba goes to the Poteleti forest and the ground serpentine forest leads to the monastery. The distance from Akhaldaba is quite small, you can reach there by foot. The environment is really amazing. There is a dense forest, at the end of the hill a plain place and the view from Akhaldaba and its entire gorge. As well as calmness, colored forest in autumn and shedding of leaves. The distance from the capital to Akhaldaba is 144 km, about 2 hours drive by car. The distance from Akhaldaba to Potoleti is 4.3 km, on average 10 minutes drive by car and about 1.5 hours by foot.
It is believed that the church of Potoleti was built by Christopher, a student of St. Grigol Khandzteli in the 40s of the IX century as a monastery of Kvirike Tsminda. From historical sources it is clear that from the 14th century the monastery ceases to function, becomes empty and as a result remains by all forgotten. The flow of time or frequent invasions of the enemy destroyed the temple and the monastery. In 2007 the monastery has been revived. During the restoration, explorers tried to restore the original image of the church. Nowadays, the Church is renewed and it represents a live history. In 2007 the restored temple was named after Potoleti as it is located in the Potoleti forest. The Father's Monastery was restored as well.
In order to carry out the restoration work of Kvirike, same as the temple of Potoleti and return the original image, it was necessary to carry out archaeological excavations. During the excavations interesting facts were discovered. Numerous bones of monks were scattered in the courtyard of the temple. It shows what cruelty invasions of enemies took place,destroying everything around. During the excavations there were also found agricultural, construction and kitchen ceramics and an excellent iconostasis of the X century. For decoration of a cornice it consists of a tile with triangular corners, deer standing against each other are shown in relief in its recesses. During the excavations an interesting crypt was found with its’ stone walls. On the stone tile roof of the crypt there are mixed inscriptions: Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli. Various periodical inscriptions are still under study.
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