Kvatakhevi monastery (Region of Kartli)
Kvatakhevi monastery complex (Georg. ქვათახევის მონასტერი) impresses visitors with its picturesque location, as with an elaborately decorated facade of the main church and with the diverse architecture of the building complex. The monastery was for a long time the main monastery of the Kartli region and the literary center of East Georgia. Several books were written here in the Middle Ages and numerous manuscripts were translated from Greek into Georgian. Kvatakhevi always enjoyed a special status in the whole Georgia. Noblemen, as well as members of the royal family, often personally donated to the church.
The monastery did not have an easy fate. The monastery was worst hit in XV centuries, when Timur Lenk invaded Georgia. He had the faithful imprisoned in the church and, after they refused to convert to Islam, ordered everyone burned alive. The commemoration day for the cruel event is April 10 in the Georgian Apostle Church. The tragic event was the eventual reason why the church got a special status among the believers from the V century. Until the 19th century it was forbidden to enter the monastery grounds with shoes, one was allowed to enter only barefoot or with special monastery shoes.