About Attraction

Phoka Monastery

Phoka St. Nino Monastery nunnery that is operating up to this day, was established in 1993, next to the medieval church of St. Nino, built in the 11th century, ( 1030-1040), by the order of Ioane V Okropiri, Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia. 

Phoka has a special symbolic value for Christians in Georgia. According to legend, St. Nino – Cappadocian missionary, who brought a new faith in Georgia in the 4th century, entered the country from the south through, Samtskhe-Javakheti province and spent two days near the lake Paravani. Here, St. Nino had a vision from Lord, who asked her to go to the capital Mtskheta and visit the king of Iberia – Mirian. So, Christianized Georgia state starts a new history from this place.

The Nunnery actively participates in public life, and operates a school, medical cabinet and enamel workshop, which are accessed by many locals. 

Great attention is paid to the agricultural activities and animal farming, grain-growing, crop growing, management of gourd field and greenhouses. Nunnery runs a small shop, where only local products are displayed:  

  • Candles - distinct appearance ingenious handmade candles. 
  • Cloisonne enamel –more than 10 years since the studio of cloisonne enamel started to operate here. The manufactures of the studio are sold in “Pokani” shop in Tbilisi.
  • Cheese – hard working and big efforts of merging the local traditions and climate with French experience and European technologies of cheese-making, yielded unique sorts of cheese that are merchandised in the nunnery shop.
  • Confectionery products –the nunnery produces branded confectionery products using solely biologically pure raw materials and organic ingredients.
  • Cookery - several dozens of exclusive dishes were created after the lengthy monachism by use of many years experience of the nunnery members.

Driving distance from Tsalka is 43.5 km (47 min); from Akhalkalaki 48.2 km (45 min ); from Tbilisi - 150 km (2 hr 39 min )

Working: every day 09:00-18:00 

Admission: limited during the liturgy

To book private tour, please, contact travel specialist here