Monastery of Olga

Monastery of Olga (Region of Mtskheta-Mtianeti)

The monastery of  St. Catherine (Olga) of Mtskheta. (Georg. მცხეთის წმიდა ეკატერინეს (ოლღას) სახელობის დედათა მონასტერი).  The monastery is located between the Sarkineti (Bagineti) mountains (Georg. სარკინეთი(ბაგინეთი)), rising above Mtskheta on the western side and is hidden from the sun’s rays most of the year. From the monastery site there is a wonderful view of the city of Mtskheta. The history of the monastery began more than half a 1500 years ago and the first church on that site was built in the 6th century. Evidence was discovered that opposite Mtskheta, on the right bank of the Kura, Sinai monks founded a monastery in the name of the Holy Great Martyr Catherine. Over time, the monastery became empty and forgotten about.

At the beginning of the 20th century, they decided to build a railway in Mtskheta. The work was led by engineer – Brailovsky. While examining a forested plot of land, the engineer saw a metal cross. It turned out that the cross crowned the dome of the church, covered with earth. After excavations, a small temple emerged, preserved almost without damage. In the temple they discovered a small icon of the Mother of God, depicted with her head uncovered, obviously of very ancient writing. The engineer’s wife Olga Gornich (Georg. ოლღა გორნიჩი) decided to found a nunnery near the found church. She took monastic vows and with great difficulty revived the monastery, which since then people began to call Olga, the only convent that did not close in Georgia during Soviet times.


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