Bodbe Monastery, Georgia

Bodbe Monastery, Georgia

Bodbe Monastery stands out as one of Georgia's key spiritual highlights, home to the revered Saint Nino of Cappadocia, known for bringing Christianity to Georgia. This peaceful nunnery draws pilgrims from across the nation and Christians from abroad, all eager to connect with the sacred, sip from Saint Nino's pure spring, and soak in the breathtaking Alazani Valley views.

Back in the 4th century, Nina, related to the Patriarch of Jerusalem and Saint George, journeyed from Cappadocia to what was then pagan Iberia (modern-day Georgia). She settled in a royal gardener's garden and became famous for miraculously healing those who came to her. Her most notable miracle was curing King Mirian's wife, Nana, leading to the queen's conversion to Christianity. King Mirian himself was initially skeptical and even plotted against Nina. But, as legend has it, he was struck blind just as he planned to act against her. In desperation, he prayed to Nina's God, promising to convert if he were healed, and miraculously, he regained his sight. Following this, Mirian was baptized, and Christianity spread throughout Georgia.

Saint Nino eventually made her way to Bodbe, where she spent her final years. Despite King Mirian's attempt to move her remains to Mtskheta, they miraculously remained in Bodbe. Initially marked by a church dedicated to Saint George, the site later became a monastery. By the 15th century, it had become the coronation site for Georgian kings.

The monastery's history took a turn in the 1920s when it was converted into a hospital, and its sacred icon of the Holy Virgin "Iveron" was repurposed as an operating table, still bearing scalpel marks today.

Now, Bodbe is alive with spiritual activity, housing two churches: one dedicated to Saint George the Victorious and a smaller one honoring Saint Nino's parents, Zabulon and Sosana, canonized in 1996.

Saint Nino's relics, housed in the cathedral, continue to draw daily pilgrims, many of whom queue for the chance to pay their respects.

Another draw is Saint Nino's spring, a trek down from a viewing platform to a healing pool of water, promising a refreshing and spiritual experience.

Despite the buzz of visitors, Bodbe Monastery retains a profound sense of peace and calm. It's a spot not to be missed, especially for those heading to Sighnaghi, just a couple of kilometers away from the heart of the city.