Father Shio spent the last years of his life in a twelve-metre-deep cave (a common practice in asceticism), which is also where he was buried. This is where the name of the monastery, which means Shio's Cave, comes from. Both the grave and the church of Shio are considered to be holy places.
There is now a large monastery complex there.
In the 560-570s, during Shio’s lifetime, the St. John the Baptist Church was built, whose lower part is carved into the cliff.
North of it is the domed Dormition of the Virgin Church, which was commissioned between 1103 and 1123 by King David Agmashenebeli (the Builder).
Near the entrance gate of the monastery is the “Spring of Tears”. According to legend, the spring has healing properties.
The monastery has suffered constantly throughout the years due to invasions. For instance, Shah Abbas I destroyed the large church commissioned by David Agmashenebeli.
Behind the complex there are more than 100 caves where the monks would shelter during the invasions.
Shio Mghvime was thoroughly rebuilt in the 1890s, and there is a monastery here today, whose doors are always open.
The easiest way is to drive or take a taxi from Mtskheta. The road goes through an old forest and is very picturesque. The atmosphere up there is very calm and peaceful - as if centuries-old dramatic events never happened.