Alaverdi Monastery was founded by the Assyrian monk Joseph (Yoseb, Amba) Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and settled in Alaverdi – a small village and former pagan religious center dedicated to the Moon. At the beginning of the 11th century, Kakhetian King Kvirike the Great built a cathedral, today known as Alaverdi Cathedral, in the place of a small church of St. George. At a height of over 55 meters, Alaverdi Cathedral is the second tallest religious building in Georgia, after the recently consecrated Sameba Cathedral in Tbilisi.

Alaverdi Cathedral was twice destroyed. Its first restoration was accomplished in the 15th century, the second one – in the 18th century after the disastrous earthquake. Restorations have changed the cathedral a little but nevertheless it remains the outstanding example of medieval Georgian architecture. The cathedral’s architectural complex is surrounded by a fortification. But in fact the most amazing is its interior. The high dome increases the feeling of space infinity. Alaverdi Cathedral has the fragments of wall paintings of the 9th, 15th and 17th centuries. From the 17th to the 18th centuries there was the dwelling for women of imperial descent who took the veil.