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Ikalto and Shuamta

Ikalto monastery complex is located in 8 km from Telavi to the North. Monastery was founded in VI century by Holy Father from Assyria, Zenon Ikaltoeli. Arsen Ikaltoeli who arrived from Gelati Academy at the beginning of XII century founded here a center of education – Academy. Monastery complex nowadays consists of 3 churches: main church of Transfiguration of the Saviour, or ’Deity’ (VIII-IX centuries) which was constructed on the site of an old church with the tombs of Zenon Ikaltoeli; small Trinity Church with a dome (V century), and one-nave church of All Saints (XII-XIII centuries). Undeviating building of Ikalto Academy has been constructed with cobblestone on the edge of XII-XIII centuries. The first level is a general hall (25m x 9m), the second level consists of . In the ruins of the Academy there are some remnants of scientific and educational articles: basis of cathedra, typical windows with shelves. Like Gelati, in Ikalto Academy education was conducted under Trivium-Quadrivium system. Blacksmith’s work, ceramics, viticulture and wine production were also taught. On the territory of the Monastery there are ruins of a dining hall, likewise there are distinct stone remnants of winepress tub and many clay vats.

The Georgian architectural cluster is located in the Telavi region, in the forestland within 7 km distance. It consists of 2 parts: Old Shuamta and New Shuamta. The monastery received its name from its location – it is surrounded from three sides by mountains and has been constructed on the ravine between mountains.


100 Sights of Georgia

Edited by Manana Baliashvili
Design and layout by
Irma Liparteliani
Elene Varamashvili
Translation by
Guram Abashidze
Images by N. Elizbarashvili, B. Kupatadze, G. Dvalashvili, 
Agency of Protected Areas and Association “Nekresi”
Copyright © 2011. N. ElizbaraSvili, B. KupataZe
Copyright © 2011. Publishing House “Clio”

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