Porta Monastiri

Monastery in Far Northeast

Porta (Khandzta) Monastery holds a special place in Georgian history but today it's a severely dilapidated series of ruins in a thickly wooded canyon, high above the Artvin–Ardahan road.

Founded in 782, this was the base from which monk Grigol Khandzteli pioneered the early monastic movement in Tao-Klarjeti. The site was left abandoned as a monastery and forgotten for centuries. Academics were divided as to historic Khandzta's location until the discovery in Jerusalem of an ancient document written by one of its monks that appears to confirm Porta and Khandzta as the same place.