An impressive piece of architecture, the monastery contains a cross-dome church dedicated to the Mother of God, a hall-type church of St. George, a bell tower, and the remnants of various outbuildings and a defensive wall.
The churches were all built during the 9th century, while a convent was founded in the 19th century. Russian nuns also opened a small school and hospital here at around the same time. In addition, a medical repository is still preserved on the monastery grounds.
In 1924, the communists blew up the St. George Church, bringing an end to the local monastic life for a long time. It was only in 2006 that restoration of the Mother of God Church was finished, allowing monks to return to serving in it.
It is said that the famous king of Georgia, David Agmashenebeli (the Builder), prayed in this monastery before one of his battles.
After seeing what invasions have done to the place, the King said with great sorrow: "The suffering of people broke my heart".