MARTQOPI MONASTERY dates back to the mid-sixth century when St. Anton, one of a group of monks known as the “Thirteen Syrian Fathers,” settled here. According to tradition, he lived on top of a pillar, thus following the Syrian practice of Stylitism. Soon a community of monks had gathered around him, which led to the foundation of a monastery that was subsequently named Martqopi (shortened from “Martodmqopi” – literally "one living in solitude," a hermit). Monastery is located about 25 km east of Tbilisi.