The Bodbe Monastery of St Nino (Kakheti)



The Bodbe Monastery of St Nino (Kakheti)

The Bodbe Monastery of St Nino and the Episcopal is located 2 km away from Sighnaghi, in Kakheti, According to tradition, the monastery was built on the site of the burial of St Nino, Illuminator of Georgia. The building has been repaired and restored many times. Bodbe Monastery was abolished and turned into a par¬ish Church in 1837, A convent was founded in 1889, to¬gether with a school teaching needlework and painting. The monastery preserves a three-nave basilica (with three projecting apses). With its original architectural forms, the Church can be related to the early feudal period. The building has undergone substantial altera¬tions, and is plastered inside and outside. The traces of the 17th and 19th century restoration are visible. Ac¬cording to an inscription, the Church was substantially repaired and adorned with paintings-on the initiative of loaxie Makashvili in the 1820s.

Bodbe Episcopal see is located in Kakheti, on the Riv¬er Bodbiskhevi. It must have been founded in the 5th century (Bodbe bishop is mentioned to have attended an ecclesiastical council in 506). It covered the area if Kiziq to the stripe of the village of Kondoli. It played an important role in the history of Kakheti beginning from the 15th century. On the turn of the 16th century, Kakhetian kings made Bodbe bishop ruler of one of the sadroshos (a territorial unit whose military forces had their own separate banner). Bodbe Monastery owned a large number of estates and peasants. Davit Gareja Monastery was subordinated to it in the period between 1751 and 1764. In the early 19th century, the Episcopal see had more than hundred parish Churches. Bodbe Monastery was abolished as a part of the ecclesiastic reorganisation carried out in 1811, under the Russian rule, and was incorporated into the newly established Kakheti-Alaverdi eparchy.
During the I7th-18th centuries it was an important centre of literacy, where the men of letters Zakaria Bodbeli (17th cent,), Onopre Bodbeli (18th cent.), loane Jorjadze (18th cent.), Davit Bodbeli (18th cent,), loane Makashvili (1743-1837) and others worked



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