The village of Breti is believed to have been where one of the lesser-known (As)Syrian Fathers, Piros Breteli, founded a monastery in the sixth century. There are no traces of this presumed early foundation left today but a new religious community have now established a monastery around what they believe to be his tomb in the centre of the village. This is a friendly and welcoming monastery with a small church with new frescoes and the tomb is located in a small chapel to the north of the main nave. Above the grave is a fresco of the thirteen (As)Syrian Fathers and Piros Breteli is distinguished by the red writing in his halo.
At Zegaani in Kakheti there is a complex of three early churches. The fifth-century church of St. Marina is exceptionally small and its nearest comparable building in terms of design seems to be the tiny church of St. Nino in Samtavro, Mtskheta. The interior of the space is richly frescoed with an (unpublished) sixteenth to seventeenth century fresco cycle, that is currently open to the elements given the lack of windows and doors on the church. There is a simple, single naved church dedicated to the Archangels of an inter determinate date and a large three-church basilica dedicated to the Virgin and of an architectural type very similar to the basilica to the north of the valley at Nekresi. Like the Nekresi basilica, this church is believed to date to the sixth to seventh century. This basilica was in the process of being resorted at the time of the visit as the site was being re-established as a working monastery.
This damaged female saint is facing west on the central arch of the northern arcade and was photographed before cleaning.
This damaged female saint is facing east on the central arch of the northern arcade and was photographed before cleaning.
This figure is facing St. Catherine and the west on the westernmost arch of the northern arcade but although generally well-preserved, the inscription naming the saint has not survived. This picture was taken before the image was cleaned.
St. Catherine is well-preserved and is the east-facing saint on the westernmost arch of the northern arcade. This picture was taken before the fresco was cleaned.
St. Sergius faces eastwards on the northern arcade of the nave, directly opposite St. Bacchus on the south side. He had been identified by an inscription but is very damaged in comparison with St. Bacchus.
The evangelist Luke is on the western spandrel of the northern arcade of the nave and although partially damaged is still identifiable as St. Luke.
John is located on the eastern spandrel of the northern arcade of the nave and is the most damaged of the four evangelists. This picture was taken before the painting was cleaned and consolidated.
The Annunciation was painted at the top of the triumphal arch with the Angel Gabriel north of the window, the Virgin Mary to the south and Christ Emmanuel in a mandorla above. Sadly most of this scene was stolen overnight in 1986 whilst volunteers were restoring the monastery.
Tags: 1207/08, An Nabk, Angel, Annunciation, Chris, Church, Deir Mar Musa, Deir Mar Musa al-Habashi, Emmanuel, Fresco, Gabriel, Mar Musa al-Habashi, Monastery, Syria, Theft, Virgin Mary