- Place or Religious Monument
- Place or Historical Monument
You have to round a fair few narrow hairpin bends before you get from the plain to the summit of the sacred hill of Nekresi. This orthodox monastery, which is Kakheti's star attraction, is one of those amazing Georgian monuments that have been built according to an aesthetic ideal that prizes position above architecture.
When I arrived at the monastery's doors I felt a real spirituality. The place is full of it, and has been for a long time. Before it became Christian it was a holy place for Zoroastrians, and it was here in the 4th century that one of the first Georgian churches was built.
Perched on a rocky peak, the monastery is home to several dozen monks whose faith fills the place. As well as the two early Middle Age churches which are at the heart of the monastery, you can walk around the other buildings and the monks cells. Thanks to funding Nekresi has recently been restored which makes the churches splendid but there are also other astonishing buildings, like the "marani", a Georgian wine cellar where the amphorae are buried, one of the oldest still in existence.