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.