The original edifice of the monastery was built in the late 12th century, during the reign of King Tamar. The church was destroyed and restored many times, hence containing construction layers from various times. In the 19th century it was crowned with the “onion” type Russian dome. A new church of a typical Russian design, that of St. John the Theologian, was built south of the monastery. In the Soviet period, the monastery was used as a factory, a warehouse, and a little later as the museum of the medical history. In 1990, the monastery was restored to the Georgian orthodox church, and in 1995 the Russian dome was replaced with a new one, which was more in line with traditional Georgian design. Having been altered many times, the church has kept its previous face on the eastern façade.