The word “chule” meant “a hidden place” in old Georgian, and that is an apt name when you consider the isolated location of Chule Monastery!
Today, little remains of the old Chule complex beyond the dome of the St. George Church. On the southern wall of the church there is a large fresco depicting the family of the local atabeg. Atabeg was one of the most important and influential titles in the old Georgian feudal monarchy.
Due to Georgia’s long history of invasion and strife at the hands of Mongolia, Persia, and the Ottoman Empire, monastic life at Chule was abandoned in 1595. The church itself was periodically robbed by the Islamized population, but locals would hide what they could in the nearby forest. These treasures were rediscovered by a local forester in the 1980s.
In particular, church bells and a fragment of a silver chalice were found, which the forester handed over to the Akhaltsikhe Local Lore Museum. Currently, the bells are already in the church - one is hanging near the church, and the other is at the entrance to the refectory.
Monastic life at Chule began again in 1999. Today you will see monks’ cells and a monumental stone cross, called “Chulevi Jvartamaghleba” around the monastery.
To get to the monastery you will have to take the road from Akhaltsikhe to Adigeni. The road to the monastery is fine for any kind of vehicle.