Rkoni Monastery (Region of Kartli)
Rkoni Monastery (Georg. რკონის მონასტერი). The monastery dates back to around the 7th century, when the main temple was built. Until the 18th century, a bell tower and two churches were added to the monastery. Due to its location in the gorge, the monastery served as a refuge for the locals. During the raids, people left their homes and went to the monastery. In the XII-XIII centuries. along Rkoni there was a significant trade and military-strategic route that connected Shida Kartli with Javakheti and Trialeti, and then, through Armenia, with the Middle East. This factor contributed to the construction of monasteries in and around Rkoni.
Today the monastery is closed. The temple itself is well preserved, but other buildings on its territory were destroyed. Not far from the monastery, in a gorge, there is a bridge built during the time of Queen Tamara. A bridge over the Tedzami River leads to the monastery. It dates back to the XII-XIII centuries. The semicircular bridge is a single whole and is 12.5 m long and 2.2 m wide. The bridge supports lean against natural rocky foundations and is built of pieces of stones on a solution of lime. It has been preserved in its original form. Another attraction of the area is the Rkoni fortress, which rises high above the gorge.