The Kvabiskhevi Mother of God Church is a triple-naved basilica from the 8th to 19th centuries, constructed from the stone of the very cliff it sits on.
At the entrance to the southern nave, you’ll see a figure with their hands raised and an inscription in the old Georgian Asomtavruli script reading “forward” in Georgian. Inside, you’ll find artwork from the 12th and 13th centuries, including images of a man and woman dressed in national clothing. Both of these figures have their hands raised towards heaven and the words “Shota” and “la” are written in the Asomtavruli script.
Since this church is located in historical province of Meskheti (nowadays a part of Samtskhe-Javakheti region), the birthplace of the great Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli, it is believed that these frescoes depict the poet and his mother. However, others believe that they instead represent a local feudal lord, Toreli.
Underneath the monastery, you will see holes dug into the cliff. These would have been used to hide from invading enemies.