Largvisi Monastery

Akhalgori, Georgia

The Largvisi Monastery is a medieval Georgian Orthodox monastic foundation in the Ksani river valley in the Akhalgori Municipality. The monastery is documented from the early 14th century. The extant church, a domed cross-in-square design, dates to 1759. It was a familial abbey of the Kvenipneveli dynasty, Dukes of Ksani and one of the leading noble families of the Kingdom of Kartli.


The 15th-century Georgian chronicle of the dukes of Ksani ascribes the foundation of the monastery to the family's legendary 6th-century ancestor Rostom, allegedly a contemporary of the Byzantine emperor Justinian. The monastery is historically better documented from the early 14th century, when generations of the dukes of Ksani made donations to it. The monastery was destroyed during Timur's invasions of Georgia in 1400 and rebuilt and frescoed by Grigol Bandaisdze. In 1470, the monastery was further renovated by the duke Shalva, who also built a defensive wall with a bell-tower on it. Shanshe, Duke of Ksani, added further fortifications, turning it into his castle. In 1759, the church was built as the Monastery of St. Theodore Tyron by the duke David and his mother Ketevan. The event is commemorated in a Georgian asomtavruli inscription of the icon of the Theotokos from Largvisi. This still-extant edifice, which replaced the older domeless one, had a completely new layout.


The Largvisi Monastery sits on a slope of a hill on the confluence of the Ksani and Churta rivers. It is a domed cross-in-square church, with the dimensions of approximately 20 x 12 m. The overall plan is elongated on an east-west axis. The church is built of brick and covered with blocks of hewn stone, with four stone pillars in the nave. The dome rests upon high aisles joining in a cross shape. The church has two, western and southern entrances. Above the western window is a sculpture carved in stone—a human right hand and tools of masonry. The defensive structures adjoining the monastery are parts of a citadel with ruined walls and towers higher on the hill.



Your name


Akhalgori, Georgia
See all sites in Akhalgori


Founded: 14th century
Category: Religious sites in Georgia

More Information

User Reviews

Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Santa Maria in Trastevere

The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I. 

The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.

The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.