Erketi Monastery

Erketi Monastery

In the beautiful village of Erketi stands a 9th-century monastery which contains a startling array of religious objects, including frescoes, an ancient gospel, and an icon of an archangel. The relics of five great martyrs are also kept here, those of St George, St. Menas, St. Barbara, St. Marina, and St. Pantaleon. In addition, the relics of more than twenty holy Fathers have also been brought here from Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.

Located eight kilometers from Chokhatauri town in Guria Region, the church and the land it stands on were once the property of Guria’s nobility.

The church itself is a monumental building, with two outbuildings and two entrances. Over each entrance is a simple cross depicted in relief. The facades are similarly simple, but the interior walls preserve paintings from the late Middle Ages. On the right wall is a painting of Erketi’s leader Maksime III, who was appointed as the metropolitan bishop of Jumati Village in the 18th-century and showed great care for the village.

There is a spring flowing in the churchyard, which the locals believe can cure diseases. A cave carved into the cliff nearby was once used as a place to live and pray by monks.

With so many other Georgian churches having suffered raids that damaged or spirited away their religious treasures, the locals say that it is by the grace of God that they have so many religious and antique objects intact.

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