nekresi monastery

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  • Nekresi monastery

Nekresi in Kakheti, in Eastern Georgia, situated in Kvareli region not far from Shilda village, represents complex of ecclesiastical buildings and is one of the most important cultural centers of Georgia. Beautifully set on the hilltop in the woods the monastery includes several structures built in different periods. The oldest is a chapel of the small basilica type built in 4th century, when King Trdat, a grandson of King Mirian was on the throne; In 5-7th centuries here was erected the main temple - St. Virgin's Church of the triple-church basilica type, which has several important inscriptions and wall-painting of 16th century; In 9th century was built the domed church; There are also other buildings for different purposes - bishop's palace, etc. In second half of 6th century Abibos (one of the famous 12 Great Syrian Fathers) became the head of Nekresi eparchy. He was fighting against Persians’ attempts to implant the fire - worshiping into Georgia and finally was executed for insulting of Persian God. The monastery remembers numerous Muslim invasions. The legend tells us about one of them: Nekresi was attacked by Muslims and the defenders of the monastery let pigs out of the monastery. When Muslims soldiers saw pigs on their way, they ceased hostilities and left the monastery in peace. In commemoration of this rescue the pig was announced as Nekresi protector and up to now the Nekresi st. Virgin temple is the only church in Georgia to which the pig can be sacrificed.

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