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About Ninotsminda Monastery Complex
Ninotsminda Mothers' Monastery - a walled monastery complex - a temple, a four-story brick bell tower (XVI century), the two-story palace of Metropolitan Saba Tusisshvili (1774-1777) and the ruins of other buildings preserved in Kakheti region, Sagarejo Municipality, the village of Ninotsminda.
The main building of the complex is the church of St. Nino, built in the III quarter of the VI century. According to the legend the construction of the temple is connected with the place where St. Nino rested.
Ninotsminda temple is a remarkable monument of the VI century. It was built at the time of St. Nino in the old idol site. To create a large domed space, one additional small stand is inserted on the diagonal axes between the four apses in the corners of the central square. From the outside, the temple was a star-shaped structure with alternating semicircular apses arranged in size. Only the apse in the middle of the altar, where the windows are cut, has a concave shape. The building was the developed face of the tetraconch and the direct predecessor of the cross-type monuments. The temple was thoroughly repaired many times (XI-XII centuries, XVI century). It was destroyed during the 1824 and 1848 earthquakes.
Belltower - a brick belltower of the XVI-XVIII centuries is erected to the north-east of the main temple. Ninotsminda belltower is among great belltowers in Georgia. On the lower three floors, there is one vaulted room with windows, niches and fireplaces. The fourth floor is a belltower - with eight-pillar arches opening the pavilion. The facades are made of arches, rhombuses and crosses made of brick and arranged symmetrically. To the north of the belltower was a two-story wooden building housing the residence of the Ninotsminda bishop.
Fence - The buildings located on the territory of the monastery are surrounded by a wide stone fence.
The main building of the Ninotsminda complex must be built in the 50-75s of the 6th century. According to the legend the construction of the temple is connected with the place where St. Nino rested. Centuries-old history has left its mark on the temple. The temple was rebuilt many times in IX-XI, XIII-XIV, XVI centuries. We learn from the inscription on the gate that in 1671 the church was renovated by the Bishop of Ninotsminda - Nikoloz Andronikashvili.
In the second half of the XVIII century, Saba Tusisshvili from Ninotsminda renovated the church and erected a very large dome for it. He also built the Palace, which is located in the courtyard of the temple. According to the legend, when Erekle II saw the dome of Ninotsminda temple, he said to Tusishvili with grief: you have decorated the temple but you have also killed it. Indeed in 1824, during the earthquake, the walls could no longer withstand and the arch and dome collapsed. Other walls were demolished in 1848 and only one wall is survived for today. Next to the temple stands a 16th-century belltower, which often protected people from the enemy. The complex has been surrounded by a large fence since ancient times, which was equipped with towers and the locals used it as a shelter during the war. Ninotsminda Episcopal had the great support of the kings. The cathedral was assisted several times by King Levan of Kakheti, Alexander and David I, Kings of Kartli, Rostom and Archil. Ninotsminda was especially advanced during the reigns of Erekle II and Teimuraz II.
The monastery had a rich library, as evidenced by the manuscripts of our time. Writers and poets worked here: Bishops- Arsen Ninotsmindeli, a close associate of Ekvtime Mtatsmidli, an employee of the Athos Literary School (X-XI c.), Mitrophane Ninotsmindeli, Ioane Ninotsmindeli (XVIII) Saba Tusisshvili (second half of the XVIII century), Anton II (1784-1784) and others.
At the end of the XX century, with the blessing of the Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II, the monastic life in Ninotsminda was restored and renovation works were carried out. There is currently a nunnery here. The Diocese of Sagarejo-Ninotsminda was restored in 2003 and the cathedral of the diocese and the residence of the bishop were located here.
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