Martkopi is a village in Gardabani District, on the left side of Ialno range, in the gorges of the rivers Alikhevi and Tevali. The village is situated at an altitude of 770 meters, and is 55 kilometres from Gardabani and 12 kilometres from Vaziani (the nearest railway station). According to 2002 census, the village is populated by 7666 residents.
Martkopi territory was inhabited from 1st to the 2nd century. Till the 6th century its name was Akriani. It is considered that name “Martkopi” comes from one of the Thirteen Assyrian Fathers - Anton Martqopeli (martomkopeli on Georgian means someone who is living alone). A bench cathedral was established in the 13th century, which since the 15th century became a centre of Sadrosho (Administrative unit in feudal Georgia mainly used for army mobilizing). In 1625 in Markopi a military confrontation took place between Georgia and Iran.
In addition Martkopi served as a cultural centre too. The names of the famous Georgian poets and writers Nikolos Cherkesishvili (17th-18th century), Ioan Khobulashvili (18th century), Stefane Djorjadze (18th century) and others are associated with the village.
Close to village in the Ulevi range archaeologists discovered bronze-age graves. Moreover, precious Parthian coins (BC. Y. I — AD.Y. II)[clarification needed] were found in the territory of the village.
In Martkopi ruins of cupola church is still preserved. It was built in 1810 by bishop of Rustavi Stefane II. Some other family castles from the 18th century can also be found here. Near the village is Ghvtaeba monastery complex dating back to 5th—6th centuries.
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