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Nekresi is an ancient monastery complex, located in the municipality of Kvareli of Kakheti, high on the hillside above the Alazani Valley. Basilica standing here is dates in the second half of IV century. It is now an integral part of the complex and is considered one of the oldest Christian places of worship in Georgia. The monastery was founded here in the VI century by St. Abibos Nekreseli, one of the famous thirteen Syrian fathers. Since the region was then under Persian occupation, Abibos was executed later by the Persians in Mtskheta (he was buried in the temple Samtavro in mtskheta). Later the monastery repeatedly suffered from invasions of all sorts. The monastery is also famous for repelling an invading Muslim army by releasing pigs down the mountainside. At the sight of the pigs the invaders withdrew. To commemorate this event, the Blessed Virgin Church at the monastery became the only church in Georgia to which a pig can be sacrificed. The monastery itself is valid. Situated on top of a steep hill overlooking the Alazani valley, the complex contains various ecclesiastical buildings built at different times, including: the Blessed Virgin Church (VI-VII century); a basilica-type church that dates to the IV century (one of the earliest surviving Christian churches); a two-storey bishop’s palace (IX century); a four-storey tower (XVI century); and a wine cellar (marani). The entire monastery complex has been restored and it is possible to climb the tower, and to enter the monastery churches and the ancient wine cellar (marani). On the territory there are a few benches and amazing views of the Alazani Valley.

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