Nekresi Monastery Complex
Nekresi Monastery Complex that is one of the largest monastery complexes in the Kakheti region of Georgia was founded by St. Abibos Nekreseli, one of the famous thirteen Syrian fathers. 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 (6th -7th centuries); a basilica-type church that dates to the 4th century (one of the earliest surviving Christian churches); a bishop’s palace (9th century); a four-storey tower (16th century); and a wine cellar (marani).
The monastery is noted for having withstood the expansion of Zoroastrianism in Georgia. The bishop of the monastery, Abibos Nekreseli, was sentenced to death after pouring water on the Zoroaster fire to show it should not be worshiped as sacred. Nekreseli was canonized for his martyrdom.