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About Rkoni Monastery
Rkoni Monastery Complex is located in Shida Kartli, Kaspi Municipality, near the village of Chachubeti, on the territory of village Rkoni ruins. In the XII-XIII centuries, important trade and military-strategic roads passed through Rkoni that was connecting Shida Kartli with Javakheti, Trialeti and the Middle East. This contributed to the reconstruction of Rkoni monastery. In 1400, Tamerlane's armies raided the village, the surrounding churches and monasteries. In the XVI-XVIII centuries, Rkoni was still a well-fortified place, but it was becoming empty gradually. The monastery complex has been rebuilt many times over the centuries. Basically, three layers of construction can be distinguished: VII, XIII-XIV centuries and XVII-XVIII centuries. In 1905, a workshop-laboratory was established in Rkoni, where weapons and explosive substances were made for the rebellion.
Rkoni Monastery Complex consists of several buildings: the Church of Virgin Mary, the gate, the chapel, the refectory, the tower, the bell tower, the Baptist Church, the Tamar Bridge and the monks' residential houses.
The Church of the Assumption is a three-nave basilica and belongs to the second half of the VII century. The arches of the columns are almost semicircular. The church has vaulted roof. It has three entrances. Fragments of paintings from different periods are preserved in the interior. The surviving fragments of the main space date back to the XII century. There is XVII century painting in the place where liturgy preparation is done. Also, the image of a secular figure is painted the south side of the entrance, which dates back to the late X century. The painting of the chapel dates back to the feudal era.
The gate of the monastery was built in the second half of the XIII century. The facades of the gate are ornamented with a decorative half-column arcade. The bases of the columns, arches and windows are decorated with beautiful ornaments.
The hall chapel belongs to the second half of the XIII century. The facades of the chapel are covered with cut stone and decorated with ornamental arches and carvings. Fragments of XIII-XIV centuries’ paintings are preserved in the chapel.
There is a refectory to the north-west of the main temple, which dates from the XIII-XIV centuries. It is built of pieces of stones and covered with a vaulted roof supported by 6 arches. The refectory is currently damaged.
There is a tower to the south-west of the refectory. Just two floors of the tower have been remained. Each of the ground and first floors has one window. The entrance is on the first floor. Dated to the XVII-XVII centuries, the two-story bell tower is located northwest of the main church. Fragments of contemporary painting of the building are preserved on the ground floor.
To the south of the Church of the Assumption, there is the Baptist Church located, dating from the XIII-XIV centuries. It is a hall church built of cut stones with different sizes. The hall is covered with a cylindrical roof. The north, east and west facades are ornamented with decorative arcades. Later, the gate of church was built from the western side.
"Tamar Bridge" is located on the river Tedzami on the territory of the monastery complex in Rkoni. It dates back to the XII-XIII centuries. The semicircular bridge is 12.5 m by length and 2.2 m by width. The imposts of the bridge are based on a natural rock base and are built of stone on lime mortar. It is preserved in its original form. The road connecting Shida Kartli with Trialeti passed through here.
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