Mtsvane (Green) Monastery

Mtsvane (Green) Monastery

In the middle of a primeval forest stands an amazing monument of ancient Georgian architecture. Hidden away in the mountains nearby Borjomi, Saint George Monastery is waiting to be discovered by history and culture lovers. The locals call it the Green Monastery on account of its green sandstone and the myriad shades of green that the nearby trees possess.

The Historical Past of the Green Monastery

The Green Monastery is believed to have been built in the 9th and 10th centuries by Kristepore and Tevdore, disciples of the great Georgian ecclesiastic figure Grigol Khandzteli. Several cells (rooms where the monks lived) have been found in the area surrounding the monastery, which tells us that monastic life was flourishing here during the Middle Ages.

In 2002, it returned to the Green Monastery, when the monastery resumed service after a long hiatus.

The Green Monastery is part of the Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park.

The Architecture of the Green Monastery

In the churchyard, there is a two-story bell tower, the first floor of which was a place of worship, while the second was a decorated pavilion.

On the eastern wall of the church, there is a depiction of Saint George’s famous fight with the dragon.

The Legend of the Green Monastery

Such a visually striking structure could not exist without legends being tied to it. There is a short story preserved through the generations that draw people to the Green Monastery to this day.

In the 16th century, Shah Tahmasp I attacked the monastery. His soldiers slaughtered the monks, whose blood mixed in with the waters of the nearby stream. To this day, you can still see red rocks in the water, with locals believing this is a grim reminder of the monks’ tragic deaths.

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