About New Shuamta

Best time to visit: All Season

Khakhuli St.Mary's Monastery of the New Shuamta - Late medieval Georgian Orthodox monastery is located in Kakheti, in Telavi municipality. Located near the city of Telavi, on the slope of Tsiv-Gombori mountain.

The monastery was founded in the 50s of the XVI century, after the monastery of the Old Shuamta became abandoned. The new monastery was founded by Tinatin who was the wife of the King of Kakheti, Levan. Tinatin became a nun later. She is buried in the new monastery of Shuamta.

One of the most important shrines of the monastery of the New Shuamta is the St.Mary's Icon of Khakhuli. It was located on the right side of the temple iconostasis. The face of the Virgin Mary, that is the type of hodegetria, is decorated with gold and precious stones (Turquoise, Diamond, Pearls). On the back of the icon are 44 holy particles. Nowadays, this icon is kept in the treasury of the State Museum of Art of Georgia.


The name of the Church of the Virgin Mary of New Shuamta comes from the location- It is surrounded by three mountains and is itself built on a plain in the highlands.

The Church of the Virgin Mary and the Monastery of Khakhuli were founded in the 50s of the XVI century by the King of Kakheti Levan (1520-1574) and his wife Tinatin. Queen Tinatin became a nun in the same monastery and was buried there.

In Akhali Kartlis tskhovreba we read that: “Levan conquered Kakheti and married Tinatin. She had the future vision in her childhood, that she would marry a powerful person and also she saw a place with a special sign on which she had to build a monastery for mother of the Holy God. After some time, Tinatin saw the same place and recognized it. Later she married Levan and they built a monastery there. After death of Tinatin, she was buried in her own built monastery.

After Queen Tinatin, the Monastery of Shuamta and its main temple did not remain unattended. At the end of the XVI century, after the construction of the monastery, the daughter of the queen, the nun Thekla, attached an Archangel chapel to the main church of the monastery and also provided it with donations. Later, with a certificate of 1637, King Teimuraz donated to the monastery the tribute received from trade caravans passing through Gombori. A century later in the second half of the XVII century, the temple was renewed by the king of Heraclius II.

In the XIX century, the monastery of the New Shuamta, like other religious centers of Kakheti, turned out to be part of the difficulties of the country. Monastic life here gradually slowed down. Its’ revival is associated with the Bishop Alaverdi-Kirion, later known as the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia. With his merit the monastery was restored in 1899. However, this period was short - the monastery was closed during the Soviet era and was transformed into an orphan house.The monastic life in the New Shuamta was renewed from 1990.

The importance of the monastery is treasures, that was donated by the kings for hundreds of years — among them were chalice, candela, embroidery, tableware, etc. Also here was a rich bookstore.

In the XIX century, the main temple of the monastery represented the contents of the tomb of Chavchavadze. Here are buried wife of Garsevan Chavchavadze, Mariam Avalishvili (1836), poet Alexander Chavchavadze (1846), David Chavchavadze (1884). Beside of Chavchavadze, there are other family graves in the temple as well. Among them are - karalashvili, who donated large lands to the monastery, as well as representatives of the Makashvili and Andronikashvili families.

Tags: #History #Church #Culture #Monastery

Tours nearby


Map placeholder

Please login to ask a question

Ask a Question

Write review and rate destination

Help other travelers use your experience.
Review this destination, share your thoughts, impressions, pros and cons.
Let's make traveling easier than ever.

Write a review
Write a review

Ask a Question

Review New Shuamta

Very Bad!



Very good!