Ikalto Monastery

Ikalto, Georgia

Ikalto monastery was founded by Saint Zenon, one of the 13 Syrian Fathers, in the late 6th century. It was known as one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centres of Georgia. An academy was founded at the monastery during king David the Builder by Arsen Ikaltoeli (Ikaltoeli meaning from Ikalto) in the early 12th century. The Academy of Ikalto trained its students in theology, rhetoric, astronomy, philosophy, geography, geometry chanting but also more practical skills such as pottery making, metal work, viticulture and wine making and pharmacology. According to a legend the famous 12th century Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli studied there.

There are three churches on the monastery grounds – Khvtaeba, Kvelatsminda and Sameba. The main church, Khvtaeba (Holy Spirit), was built in the 8th–9th century on the site of an older church (in which Saint Zenon had been buried). In 1616 the Persian invaders led by Shah Abbas I set the Ikalto Academy on fire and it ceased to exist.



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Founded: 6th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Georgia

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Salome Gabunia (9 months ago)
the road to the monastery was full if green, there were interesting tomb stones in the yard of monastery and the last time I visited this place, I have seen beautiful garden as well, now it was fenced in. Although monastery is under construction and there are huge iron rods that make it hard to move around, It is still full of grace and that feeling that you are tiny doesn't vanish after you leave.... Amazing place
Levan Iashvili (9 months ago)
What a place, what an aura, what a history!! Peaceful getaway from all the loud noises, a place of middle age academy where they used to teach wine making.
Oleg Pogorelik (10 months ago)
Very special and quiet
kakha beria (12 months ago)
First academy in georgia, right now it is under construction
Vano Pukhauri (12 months ago)
Nice place,hidden in the beautiful mini canyon.Old monastery under restoration and ruins of ancient medieval academy which was first in Georgia.
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