Zedazeni Monastery (Region of Mtskheta-Mtianeti)
Founded in VI c by the head of the 13 Assyrian Fathers – St. Ioane Zedazneli, Zedazeni monastery is located north-east of Mtskheta, on the slope of a hill covered with dense virgin forest. The tradition clames that St. John deliberately choose this place, where the heathen idol had once stood and did not abandon a small cave – modest place of his hermitry even after his disciple Tateh built a “real” monastery in close proximity of the cave. According to the original manuscript narrating the life and deeds of the saint father, after his death he was buried in the cave, as was his last will.
Shortly afterwards a small church was built over St. John’s grave, later incorporated into a larger church of St. John the Baptist, constructed in the end of VIII c. under the patronage of Patriarch Clementios. Up to now the church is the central building of the monastery. This three nave basilica with two pairs of roof-bearing columnsis built of mixed material – rubble stone, gallstone and brick. Eastern section of the northern nave incorporates the remains of the earlier, neatly hewn stonework structure with horseshoe shape arches. Here next to the northern wall, St. John Zedazneli’s grave is arranged. In 90-ies of the last century the monastery, abandoned for long time was brought back to life.