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About Kvatakhevi Monastery
Kvatakhevi Monastery is located in Shida Kartli region, Kaspi municipality. The monument belongs to XII-XIII centuries. It was considered to be the main monastery of Kartli and was protected by Georgian aristocrats. During Temur Lang's invasion in 1386, the monastery was raided. When the nuns sheltered in the church and the villagers refused to convert from Christianity, they were locked together in the monastery and set fire to the church. In the XV century, King Alexander the Great rebuilt the Kvatakhevi Monastery. In 1735-1740 the monastery was closed, and the relics that were kept in the monastery, were hidden in a cave close to the monastery. At the end of the XVIII century, the church was reopened and the hidden treasure was returned to the monastery. According to legend, a small part of the Virgin Mary's clothes is buried in the foundation of the church (the monastery itself has got a name of Virgin Mary). Also the greatest holy thing in the monastery is the holy part of John the Baptist. Kvatakhevi was also one of the centers of ancient Georgian literature, and several manuscripts of the monastery’s library have survived till today.
Kvatakhevi Monastery Complex consists of several buildings: the Church of the Assumption, the wall, the tower, the refectory, the bell tower and the living chambers.
The Church of the Assumption is a cross-domed building of the XII-XIII centuries. Architecturally it is close to the Church of Betania. The facades are covered with hewn white stone blocks. The interior space is created of cross arms and the dome. The east and west arms are longer than the north and south arms and are covered with cupolas. The monastery was painted, but the fire completely destroyed the paintings. Nowadays, the walls are plastered. The facades are richly decorated. The dome is completely decorated with luxurious ornaments. The church has two gate entrances, one to the south and the other one to the west. The western gate was later built in the second half of the XVII century. The Church of the Assumption of St. Mary in Kvatakhevi belongs to the kind of monuments where the canonical forms of the Georgian domed church were finally developed. The walls of the Kvatakhevi Monastery fence have different heights, as it leads to difficult relief. The gate is to the south. The buildings of different periods are located to the western and southern sides. There is a stone-built refectory with two large fireplaces in the north-west corner of the wall. There are residential houses of monks to the west dating back to the XIX century. They have a common corridor in front. The wall also includes a two-storey tower built of stones. Both floors were built for living. The tower has been rebuilt many times. The bell tower was built in 1872. The bell tower is open on all sides with semicircular arches based on columns. It has a stone, conical roof.
How to get there?
Kvatakhevi Monastery is located in Shida Kartli region, Kaspi municipality. It is 5 km away from the village of Tsinarekhi and 14 km from Kaspi municipality. The road to the monastery can be covered by a car, but it is quite dirt.
- 52km From Tbilisi
- 23km From Kaspi
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