Samtavro Monastery together with Svetitskhoveli cathedral and Jvari monastery are one of the main sights of historical town of Mtskheta, located some 20 km from nation's capital Tbilisi. 

Official nam of this place is Samtavro Transfiguration Orthodox Church and Nunnery of St. Nino in Mtskheta, Georgia. It is believed that church were built in the 4th century by King Mirian III of Iberia. Nowadays Samtvaro is very popular tourist destination in Mtskheta with much greater popularity among Georgian believers - it's always crowded here. The nuns living and praying here speaks very good English, and don't allow photograph inside.

Samtavro monastery in Mtskheta

Samtavro monastery in Mtskheta

Tombs near the church

Tombs near the church

Visitors at Samtvaro monastery in Mtskheta

Visitors at Samtvaro monastery in Mtskheta

Beheaded angels sculpture at Samtvaro monastery

Beheaded angels sculpture at Samtvaro monastery

Church photography has always been interesting for me.

Prayers candles

Prayers candles

 The famous Georgian monk Gabriel is buried in the yard of Samtavro Church.

 The famous Georgian monk Gabriel is buried in the yard of Samtavro Church.

Archimandrite Gabriel born Goderdzi Urgebadze is one of the most renowned orthodox monks in Georgia. He was born to Vasili and Barbara Urgebadze on 26 August 1929, in Tbilisi, Georgia. He was baptized as an infant in St Martyr Barbara’s Church, in Navtlughi district by the former “Sister of Mercy” Tamar Begiashvili. The communist regime was furiously violent then; religion was persecuted; churches were destroyed and closed; innocent people were murdered and deported. Goderdzi was about two years old when his father, Vasil Urgebadze, was murdered in uncertain circumstances. After that his family members called him Vasiko in honor of his father. Learn more: Archimandrite Gabriel Urgebadze 

Prayer candles and icons at Samtvaro monastery

Prayer candles and icons at Samtvaro monastery

Inside church

Inside church

At this stage a nun approached me and informed in plain English it's forbidden to photograph inside the church, I told her, OK, I understand, but I'm not using a flash - making some damage to icons or disturbing nuns or other visitors, but she was bold in her statement - any photography is prohibited inside the church. Sad :(