Alaverdi Monastery – One of the Largest Church Buildings in Kakheti

Alaverdi Monastery

Alaverdi is one of the most impressive cultural monuments in all of Georgia. Built as a royal monastery in the 11th century alongside such famous works as Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi, Svetitskhoveli in Mtskheta, and Oshki in Tao-Klarjeti, it is a fantastic example of Georgian religious architecture.

Where is Alaverdi Monastery Located?

Alaverdi is located 30 minutes drive from Telavi, the heart of Kakheti region. It impresses from the first moment you see it. A large cathedral set against the backdrop of the snow-covered Caucasus Mountains, it looks out over the expansive Alazani Valley.

The Alaverdi Monastery Complex is composed of a number of buildings: the Saint George Cathedral, a wall, a bell tower, the palace of Paykar Khan, a wine cellar, and a bathhouse. Saint George Cathedral is one of the largest church buildings in Georgia at over forty metres tall, including the dome.

Alaverdi Monastery’s Frescoes

Within the church, you’ll find a number of important 11th-century frescoes, some of which were not completed until the 15th - 17th centuries. Of particular note are the ornaments on the altar column - large bunches of grapes that symbolize the importance of viticulture and winemaking in Kakheti.

The History of Alaverdi Monastery

Alaverdi was a spiritual and cultural center for centuries. Famous Georgian writers, calligraphers, and bibliophiles worked here. 

Due to invasions and earthquakes in the region, the cathedral was often damaged, but the local people were always able to fix it again. It is for that reason that Alaverdi Monastery has been able to preserve much of its original appearance.

Nowadays there is a functioning monastery there. The holiday of the church, Alaverdoba, is held every year on the 27th September.

Also Alaverdi has a large facility for hosting guests. After seeing the frescoes and a vineyard with 80 grape varieties from all around Georgia, you can taste some wine in the tasting room in front of the monastery, try a simple but tasty dessert - matsoni yogurt topped with honey and crushed walnuts, or even order a lunch.


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