Zarzma Monastery is located in South Georgia, in historical Samtskhe region, in the gorge of river Kvabliani, village Zarzma, Adigeni municipality.
Zarzma is a great example of the early medieval Georgian church architecture. It is estimated to be established in 8th-9th c.c. However, the church that stands up to this day, was constructed in the first years of the 14th century.
Zarzma complex has several historical buildings: main church, bell tower, three chapels, ruins of two churches and an old spring.
The main church of Zarzma has a cross-in-square design and is constructed with hewn stone. Church has two entrances. The façade of the building is richly decorated, while the interior has frescoes – typical for the style of Georgian church architecture during that period. Murals of Zarzma Monastery depict religious themes and historical figures from the middle ages – members of the House of Jakeli (the rulers of Samtskhe Atabegate), Bagrat III (King of Imereti), Simon Gurieli (Prince of Guria Principality) etc.
Belfry of Zarzma is one of the largest medieval bell towers in Georgia. Building was originally part of the defensive wall. Modern-day structure was built in the 16th century. Bell tower has a chapel next to its wall.
There is a hole in the ground filled with large stones towards the west from the belfry. Locals say that there used to be a tunnel connecting the monastery area to the river.
Nowadays, monastery is active, and is also a popular tourist and pilgrimage destination site.
Driving distance: from Adigeni is 9 km (15 min); from Akhaltsikhe - 35.3 km (39 min); from Khulo– 49 km (2 h 32 min); from Tbilisi - 242 km (3 h 47 min)
Working: every day 09:00-18:00
Admission: limited during the liturgy.
Dress code: required
To book private tour, please, contact travel specialist here