In ancient times Martvili was called Chkondidi. In the 7th century a monastery was built there. Holy martyrs. In the tenth century, the Chkondidi Bishopric was established here. The church of the monastery is dedicated to the Theotokos. In the Middle Ages there was a well-known educational center.
Many famous scientists, writers and copyists worked in the temple, and there was a rich library. The central temple under the dome, crowned with a cross, decorated with tiles and carvings, the figures and floral ornament of which create a single picture of scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Until now, the frescoes of the 14th-17th centuries have been preserved in the church. Near the main building is a two-storeyed church of the X century.
Priesthood of monks
Chkondidi monks and priors enjoyed a special honor in Georgia, and for a long time, it was the rector of the Chondid monastery who was appointed to the position of Mzignobartuhutsessi (chief advisor), and held the title “Chkondideli – Mtsignobartuhutsessi and the first vizier of the tsar”, often performing the most important tsarist assignments. An example is the appointment of Swimon Chkondidel-Bediel-Alaverdeli Anis governor, given him by King David Agmashenebeli, or the embassy in the camp of Batu Arsene Chkondideli, entrusted to him by the princess Rusudan.
In the monastery in Samegrelo, there was a well-known scripter – the workplace of monks-copyists, where books were translated and original creations were created. It was here that the teacher and the closest associate of King David Giorgi Chkondideli, Mzignobartuhutsessi, worked and created his works. Chkondidtsem was an outstanding figure of the era of the Queen Tamar Anton Gnolistavisdze.