Wooden church near Paravani Lake / Phoka monastery

Updated: 19 January, 2022 seen 85

Poka St.Nino Nunnery is located at the shore of Paravani lake, Ninotsminda Municipality, South Georgia.

The Little Wooden church is located bit outside the Poka village, on the left side on Tbilisi - Kojori - Tsalka - Ninotsminda road. That' s how we actually found this place. We were heading from Ninotsminda and wanted to make a stop at the famous Phoka nunnery, but at first found this lovely woodend church near the Paravani lake. Just later we learned that the nunnery is actually located inside the village (some 500 meters back on the road), while there is still a men monastery located close to the wooden church (some 200 meters)

Wooden church of Phoka
Wooden church of Phoka

The establishment of the monastery is connected to the St. Nino, who preached Christianity in Georgia. St. Nino entered Georgia from Javakheti and had a rest at Paravani lake. She stayed at the lake for two days. She had a vision here: a mans bright face aapeared to her and gave her a special marked letter and ordered her to go to Mtskheta and to give the letter to the king. After she awake, she prayed to the Holly Mary and continued her way to Mtskheta. She converted King Mirian and Queen Nanan to Christianity and soon she converted Kakheti region as well. Thats why in our church she is called Equall to the Apostles.

Mens monastery at Phoka
Men's monastery at Phoka

The famoums Phoka nun monastery is located in the village you can see in the background

At the place, where St. Nino entered Georgia, with blessing of Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia in 1989 was built a Monastery, and in 1992 nearby the monastery was built Nunnery, which is located near the St, Nino Church. The church is build approximately in forties of the XI century by Catholicos Patriarch of Kartli, Ioane Okropiri, and the architect was Michael " Banakasalari of Kartli". The rehabilitation of the church still continues.

At Poka Nunnery is opened the Parish School. The nuns teach the local children Georgian Language, English, music and try to preach Christianity on this region. At the monastery is functioning the medical cabinet, where the nuns have free treatment for the locals.

In the monastery is an enamel workshop "Pokani", where are prepared and made the icons and all the necessary things for the liturgy.

The nuns have a small farming, and the have some livestock as well.

The holidays in Poka Nunnery and monastery is 1/19 of June, the day St. Nino entered Georgia.