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Georgia
 Country of hospitality, wine, and monasteries 
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Ikalto Monastery

N 4156.222', E 4522.838'
2012-09-09
Our rating: 7.40
Overall rating:

Ikalto Monastery is one of the oldest in Georgia and the oldest in Kakheti. Ikalto was founded by Zenon in the VI century. Buildings that have survived were constructed from the VIII century. In the times of David the Builder (XII century) the temple and the academy were built. The academy is famous for its student Shota Rustaveli, author of the legendary Georgian poem "The Knight in the Panther's Skin". The monastery produced wine, therefore you can see the huge barrels (kvevri) everywhere.

The academy had been destroyed in 1616 by Shakh Abbas, and the monastery had gone into decline until the XIX century, when it was partly restored. In recent years, the monastery has been renovated by Georgian mobile operator.

Holy Spirit Temple (7-9 century)
Holy Spirit Temple (7-9 century) Yuriy Buriak


Holy Spirit Temple (7-9 century)
Holy Spirit Temple (7-9 century) Yuriy Buriak


Remains of the academy
Remains of the academy Yuriy Buriak


Remains of the academy
Remains of the academy Yuriy Buriak


Shota Rustaveli used to study here.
Shota Rustaveli used to study here. Yuriy Buriak


People leave coins near the academy.
People leave coins near the academy. Yuriy Buriak


Barrels for wine (kvevri)
Barrels for wine (kvevri) Yuriy Buriak


Barrels for wine (kvevri)
Barrels for wine (kvevri) Yuriy Buriak

Getting there: The monastery is located 10 km from Telavi in the direction of the Ahmeta village, there is a pointer on the road. The best option would be a taxi from Telavi to Ikalto ($5-10 for a roundtrip). There are also minibuses. The best one is Telavi - Ikalto, but you can go by any minibus in the direction of Ahmeta. Ask to stop near the turn to Ikalto, then go by foot along the river for about 1.5 km. All minibuses leave from the center of Telavi, ask there.

Tags, Georgia: monastery

Tags, all countries: monastery
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